By Scott Prater
Take a look to the north from just about anywhere on Schriever Air Force Base and you’ll notice a shimmering roofline near the housing area’s water tower.
That’s the partially completed exterior roof atop the community swimming pool, part of the housing area’s new community center, which is currently under construction.
Construction began during June and is slated for completion during December, according to Peter Sims, Tierra Vista Communities Deputy Project Director.
At nearly 14,000 square feet, the new community center is one of the largest of its type in Actus Lend Lease’s stable of completed community centers at military installations around the country.
The new center will feature vaulted ceilings in both the entry foyer and multi-purpose rooms, a large fireplace, cyber café, kitchen, coffee shop, locker room and offices for the Schriever Housing and Tierra Vista Property Management services.
Some unique features of the Schriever community center are the 7,206 square-foot swimming pool building, which includes a 25-meter pool and splash park.
“Since this is a first-time housing area at Schriever, there was a lot of thought that went into the design and construction of the community center,” Sims said. “We knew we were going to need to provide as many amenities as possible.”
Prior to housing construction, this particular locale was home to prairie dogs and the occasional bird of prey. A community had to be built from scratch, thus the need for a larger community center, swimming pool, playgrounds and ball fields.
Twenty four of the base’s 242 homes will open for occupancy by Sept. 7, with 24 more planned to be completed and ready for move in each month. So, by the time the community center opens more than 70 families will be standing ready to make use of the new center.
Outdoor ammenties at the center will include a play ground, youth baseball field, soccer field, basketball and tennis courts.
“I think it will be cool on Saturday mornings to see kids playing baseball out in the ballpark, Sims said. That will really give the center that community feel.”
Sporting modern landscaping enhancements, the center is also strategically located as a planned focal point of the housing area.
“I’ve lived in base housing for a number of years and the community center has always played an important part of life in the base community, especially for the kids,” said Tech Sgt. Steven Briggs, 50th Space Wing ground safety manager. “It’s a safe and fun environment, and allows kids to meet new friends.”
Crews are using some of the latest technologies and materials in construction of the new $4.2 million community center, including soy-based insulation, tankless water heaters, a photo-voltaic roof-mounted renewable energy system, wireless internet access, a fiber optic connection for video/data/voice and energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems.
“I know a lot of the high schools are pushing environment-friendly lessons,” Sergeant Briggs said. “As an Air Force base we set an example and so those kids can see environment-friendly practices first hand and see them at work.”
Aside from the club room with fireplace, the center will also offer a large multi-purpose room for large parties and events as well as smaller rooms for meetings.
“Right now, at places like Peterson Air Force Base, the Tierra Vista Property Management office hosts weekly events, designed as outreach to the community,” Sims said. “They’re also hosting monthly events, where people can gather at the community center, and we anticipate the same types of programs happening here at Schriever once the new center opens.”