Commentary by Thea Wasche
50th Force Support Squadron director
Since the standup of the 50th Force Support Squadron three years ago, Schriever has seen many Quality of Life improvements. By far the biggest change was the arrival of Schriever housing, together with the accompanying support and activities associated with our first on-base military residents and their families. Schriever went from a commuter base with zero residents to a community base filled to capacity with 242 families.
During this transition, we did everything possible to obtain new facilities and programs for the residents. We successfully advocated and built an addition to the Child Development Center for the school-age program. We started a Youth Sports and Recreation Program. We integrated the fitness center usage into resident life, with reserved family time every night. Town hall meetings are held by senior leadership to ensure ideas and concerns of our valued residents are addressed.
Partnership was masterfully forged between base management and Tierra Vista Communities, the privatized housing contractor, to bring all the comfort and advantages possible to the residents. This partnership goes back eight years, when initial plans for the community were drawn up and the clubhouse, pool and sports fields were added as design features.
The youth sports fields are currently under construction in housing and will provide quality playing surfaces for a variety of youth sports. The Youth Sports and Recreation Program kicked-off last fall with soccer and will soon be moving on to baseball with a host of other specialty camps and events to come.
On-base entrepreneurs who desire to start up a Family Child Care business in their homes are now able do so, since we hired a Family Child Care Coordinator on staff to train and manage the program for residents.
The housing area brings improvements to QoL even for those not residing on base. We recently completed Memorandums of Agreement for access to the Tierra Vista pool facilities for special events and lap swim for base personnel. Our relationship with privatized housing is arguably the best in the command if not in the entire Air Force.
In addition to the housing changes, other QoL improvements at Schriever are coming soon.
A temporary multi-purpose facility adjacent to the Fitness Center is currently under construction. The primary purpose is to house membership programs in Youth Recreation and Programs, targeting ages 13-18. This facility will also be available for chapel services, hosting commander’s calls and a variety of other activities. Adjacent to this facility, also currently under construction, will be two batting cages and two golf driving cages. These programs will be offered to our base population at no charge.
In place of the old Einstein’s operation will be a new food operation that will serve subs, salads, pizzas, beer and wine. The vision is to have a social atmosphere with “happy hour” activities during weekdays right before and after the duty hours and transitioning into family entertainment for evenings and weekends.
We are negotiating to bring a “We proudly brew” Starbucks operation into Building 210 just off the relaxing atrium. This would be a boon to the many coffee connoisseurs at Schriever and will provide an additional gathering place for personnel.
A covered running track will open this summer. Although its purpose is for fitness testing on an indoor track, it opens up many opportunities for off-time use.
We plan to expand outdoor recreation for on-base residents by bringing on a program manager funded by the wing, to expand outdoor recreation programs and to finally add an Outdoor Adventure Program to round out programming for the installation.
These are highlights of recent and in-progress QoL changes. We didn’t even touch on Schriever’s existing and dynamic QoL superstars such as our award-winning Satellite Dish Dining Facility or our base events supported by volunteers such as the Children’s Holiday Festival, Spring Fling and the base picnic.
The QoL changes are results of base leadership, FSS, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron, 50th Contracting Squadron and many other hardworking individuals and groups at Team Schriever. Rest assured that QoL improvements will continue and remember that the inputs from Schriever members are always important to make Schriever a better place to work, live and play.