By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff office
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Anyone who has been on Peterson Air Force Base for a few years might have noticed segments of old housing being torn down and then almost just as quickly, being replaced with new housing.
Among the houses, new playgrounds dot the neighborhoods, and the nearly five-year home-building project culminated with the grand opening of the Tierra Vista Community Center Nov. 30.
At the community center ribbon cutting, Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander, said the new homes replace 40 and 50-year old homes.
According to Peter Sims, TVC project director, since 2008, 388 old homes were torn down and 554 new homes were built in their place, bringing the total housing on base to 669 units.
The total cost of the project at Peterson came to $175 million.
“The project has been a huge success,” said Crawford. “Today is significant because as the last major construction effort of this phase, our families will now have a great location that they can use to relax, to come in and just enjoy.”
The community center features a full kitchen, multipurpose room, a fitness room and adjoining play area for children, a playground, splash park and basketball courts.
The brand new 6,283 square foot building can be reserved by any housing resident to use for private events and gatherings.
“It’s very well built and it feels very Colorado,” Sims said.
The entrance of the building features 25-foot ceilings, hardwood style floors and a sitting area complete with a fireplace.
The new housing features high efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, energy star appliances, spray foam insulation and a two car garage with each unit, far eclipsing the houses they replace.
“We hear nothing but positive comments from residents about not only the homes, but the community. There’s a great community here on Peterson,” Sims said.
According to Sims housing is currently 97 percent occupied, “right where we want it to be.”
Sims said this project is only successful because of the strength of the partnership with the Air Force.
“Here at Peterson, we enjoy a strong partnership; the strongest we’re aware of in the Air Force,” he said. “We have worked well together to resolve issues and challenges and make sure we meet and exceed our goals.”
These goals include a plan for the next 50 years, mapping out when houses will need to be remodeled, repainted, and reroofed. Each house is expected to be updated two or three times in the next 50 years.
“It’s easy to rent out 554 new homes but 10 years from now they won’t be as new. You have to keep them updated and relevant,” Sims said.
The completion of the community center also means TVC and the base housing management are able to work side by side, further strengthening the partnership and increasing efficiency.
TVC is a 50-year partnership created between the Air Force and Lend Lease through the Military Housing Privatization Initiative.
For information about housing, call (719) 597-7200.