Friends of Fort Sam Houston, post leaders and distinguished guests joined Lincoln Military Housing staff for the official opening of the first community center in Harris Heights Housing on Fort Sam Houston with a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 15.
Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw, commanding general, Army Medical Department Center and School and Fort Sam Houston began his opening remarks with, “I think this a great day!”
Czerw quoted a recent statement by Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, “Our Army must continue to examine the ever changing needs of our Families, and never cease in our effort to provide our Families a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their selfless service.”
“The Army cares,” said Czerw. “And it is up to every installation, such as Fort Sam Houston, to ensure that Families actually see the tangible evidence of our support to their needs and quality of life every single day. Our partnership with Lincoln Military Properties is an example of this commitment. It is a team effort.”
The new community center includes a catering kitchen, two living areas, dining area, homework area, pool and playground for use by Families who live in the Harris Heights Housing area. The center is also available for individual parties, events and activities.
Allison Mckay, operations director for LMH, said “Over the past two-and-a-half years Lincoln Military Housing development along with our general contractor, Galaxy Builders, and the local Residential Community Initiatives staff have completed several projects within the housing community.”
Mckay said, “We are excited to open the first community center within Fort Sam Houston Family housing. It is the first of three.”
McKay said the community center is intended to be the focal point of the community for neighborhood events, activities, and Family and social gatherings.
In March 2005, in partnership with the Army, military housing and its operations were transferred to Lincoln Military Housing. Since then LMH has demolished and rebuilt 181 homes in Harris Heights; completed major renovation of 198 historic homes; minor renovations on 205 homes in Watkins Terrace, and maintained an average occupancy of 97 percent while completing the renovation and rebuilding of new homes.
Mckay said several more projects are underway to include the next community center at Watkins Terrace scheduled to open in December. The renovation of the officers’ club located on Dickman Road will be transformed into a residence community center.
McKay said the residence center will include a business center, meeting room, catering kitchen and arcade/teen room. The grand ballroom will be maintained as is. The center will have tennis courts, a pool, a sports court and a playground. It is projected for completion in late spring, 2008.
Playgrounds in each village on Fort Sam Houston will be completed by the end of this year.
“The FSH RCI team was asked in 2003 to summarize their vision of a housing experience. Their response was to provide Soldiers and their Families with high quality housing in livable communities through partnering, collaboration and residence focus services. We believe we are one step closer to achieving their vision with the opening of the community center here today,” said Mckay.