FORT RUCKER – In May, Warrant Officer 1 James Manning received an unwelcomed surprise when a water pipe burst at 3 a.m. in his Munson Heights home.
While Corvias, the post’s housing manager, transitioned Manning to a unit in Allen Heights without any issues, the company’s plan is to reduce issues similar to his through a major renovation effort. Construction crews are stripping 108 of Fort Rucker’s oldest homes in Munson Heights to the studs in an effort to modernize and improve housing quality.
The first of the houses should be completed in January, said Melissa Bryson, Corvias’ Fort Rucker operations director. Officials expect the major renovation projects to end in April 2021.
“We are 100 percent committed to put soldiers and families in quality homes,” said Maj. Gen. David Francis, Fort Rucker’s commanding general. “We are in good shape, but we’re never satisfied either. Corvias has been a great partner in finding and addressing issues.”
Many of the homes experiencing major upgrades were first built in the 1950s. While officials have authorized several upgrades to those units, it had reached a time to conduct an overhaul of those residences, said Bob McDonald, Corvias’ director of construction.
“It was a typical updated house,” Manning said of his Munson Heights residence. “It had several nice amenities, nice countertops. It was honestly not bad – just an older home.”
Additionally some of the homes may have lead-based paint in them, also triggering the need for renovations, Bryson said.
The project would likely reduce the number of maintenance issues, a complaint of several Fort Rucker residents earlier this year. At a town hall meeting in February, residents questioned the response time to maintenance requests as well as the general upkeep of the homes, landscaping and area playgrounds.
Francis and Bryson said Corvias’ has made strides to reduce those complaints. Bryson said Corvias moved a maintenance request call center into the company and hired 12 more maintenance personnel here.
“We are doing very well in quality of housing and maintenance,” Francis said. “We have changed the responsiveness to maintenance requests.”
In addition to the Munson Heights renovations, 550 Allen Heights homes will receive duct work improvements in order to increase energy efficiency. Crews will install energy-efficiency improvements on more than 1,300 of the post’s 1,476 homes during the project, as well.
The project has caused or will cause 31 families to relocate to other units Corvias provides for various periods, ranging from three to 33 days, officials said.