DVIDS – News – Knox Hills begins renovation projects with approved out-year funds

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Situated just off Estrada Avenue inside the North Dietz Housing community here is an odd sight. A duplex housing unit sporting a new metal roof, windows, doors and siding has a sign planted in the front yard that reads: “Pardon our dust: Exciting new renovations in progress!”

Knox Hills officials say all of North Dietz will eventually look like this duplex in the next few years, thanks to out-year funding that has been approved and allocated to improve the quality of Soldiers, civilians and families living on Fort Knox.

“The way our out-year funding period works is, it runs in five-year cycles,” said John Bredehoeft, project director for Knox Hills. “In January of this year, we finally got approved to conduct work. Then, we really started gearing up to get all the contracts written and everything so that we could begin executing in the spring and summer, which is what we’ve been doing.

“Overall, it’s about $23 million worth of approved work that we’re injecting into our neighborhoods and housing.”

Bredehoeft said the plan officially started in fiscal 2019 and will run through 2023, but they spent the better part of two years ironing out the details. A lot of behind-the-scenes work then took place between January and when construction began, bidding for projects, comparing and leveling the bids, awarding them, creating and finalizing contracts and procuring materials.

“Even though it’s a five-year plan, most of the construction is going to happen in the next 18 to 24 months,” said Bredehoeft. “We’re on track to get it done.”

Many neighborhoods can expect to see some form of improvement during that time.

“There are a number of things we’re doing, and the projects range all over the place,” said Bredehoeft.

Besides the very large North Dietz renovation effort, smaller projects will range from HVAC and roofing replacements to thorough lead-based paint removal of exterior areas in the historic district, which will focus on handrails, door frames and eaves.

“There’s really two sides to all this: there’s the aesthetic facelift side, and the more mechanical side,” said Bredehoeft. “For instance, on the mechanical side we will be doing sewer lateral upgrades. They are not very sexy, but they’re very important because they cut down on issues at the home.”

What generally to expect:

Morand Manor — HVAC replacements, appliances and sewer lateral upgrades

Littlefield Loop — minor indoor renovations to include flooring, countertops, shelving, appliances, and finish upgrades

Pritchard Place — roof replacements

Historic District — lead-based paint removal/remediation

Anderson Greens— weatherization involving insulation upgrades

Pressler Grove/Pressler West — entry door replacements

Airfield area communities — metering and exterior projects

“There are a few homes that don’t have electric or gas meters, so we are adding some,” said Bredehoeft. “Right now we’re focused on electric metering, but we’re also doing some things on the exteriors, like adding shutters and doing some roof repairs.”

North Dietz — considered a total renovation, which will include siding, roofing, doors, windows, the sewer lateral upgrades, and appliances.

“That’s really our big renovation that we’re doing in this five-year period,” said Bredehoeft. “It’s like 256 homes over there at North Dietz.”

Some of the renovations will include removal of unwanted wiring often seen hanging on some of the older homes.

“Let’s say this person had DirectTV, and then this next person had Dish Network. When the Dish Network folks came out, they didn’t always use the same cabling as DirectTV, or Comcast,” explained Bredehoeft. “Over time, new people have just put wire after wire after wire on the back of the house. We’re going to remove abandoned lines, clean it up and make it more aesthetically pleasing.”

Bredehoeft said contractors will work around residents as best they can to cut down on any unnecessary moves or disruptions.

“We’re trying to do this based on attrition,” said Bredehoeft. “We have enough turnover — on average we turn over about 48% of our houses every single year. We want to be as least troublesome as possible.”

He explained that North Dietz has enough vacant units at the moment to complete the major renovations without disturbing residents. For those residents who don’t plan to move by the end of the two-year plan, Knox Hills will work with the Army for a solution.

“We’ll do everything possible; we don’t want to kick anybody out,” said Bredehoeft. “On occasion, we will maybe offer somebody a move to a renovated home to get to the un-renovated home, if needed.”

The end state, according to Bredehoeft, is a better lifestyle for Fort Knox residents.

“It’s good that we’re getting to invest in improving homes here,” said Bredehoeft. “At the end of the day, everything we’re doing is beneficial to the residents, which is really our mission — to take care of Soldiers and their families.”

Date Taken: 08.26.2020
Date Posted: 08.26.2020 11:31
Story ID: 376822
Location: FORT KNOX, KY, US 

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