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Initial timeline set for building 1,067 base homes

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- An initial timeline is in place for construction of 1,067 new housing units at Keesler.

The $287.8 million contract was awarded Sept. 22. The target date for completion is April 22, 2010. Michael Watson, Air Education and Training Command housing program manager, gave a briefing on the project at Keesler Oct. 31.

The largest military housing construction program in Air Force history, has five phases.
The neighborhoods, number of units, grades assigned, anticipated start dates and expected early delivery dates are:

Thrower Park -- 236 units for junior enlisted members (E1-6), March 2007, June 2008. 
Northwest Falcon Park -- 138 units for junior enlisted members, July 2007, September 2008. 
Bay Ridge Phase 1(Maltby Hall and Shadowlawn) -- 206 units for senior noncommissioned officers (E7- 8), company grade officers, field grade officers and senior officers; October 2007, January 2009. 
East and West Falcon Parks -- 352 units for junior enlisted members, April 2008, September 2009. 
Bay Ridge Phase 2 -- 135 units for chief master sergeants, company grade officers, field grade officers, senior officers and general officers; December 2008, January 2010. 

The contract provides a variety of enhancements for residents. 
Floor plans for the single family and duplex units meet or exceed the Air Force's benchmark square footage standards. All have three or Housing, from Page 1 four bedrooms and two stories,except for handicapaccessible units, and include a garage.

Single-family detached units are planned for field grade officers and chief master sergeants. Duplexes house other enlisted members and company grade officers.

Homes have two-year warranties, four-foot covered entries, large trash enclosures, flagpole holders, name plates, photocell-lighted house numbers and garage door openers.

Neighborhoods include totlots, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic shelters, lighted hiking and biking paths, enhanced street lighting, more off-street parking and brick entrance signs with raised lettering. Neighborhood entrances feature 300 feet of impasse fencing on each side.

A minimum of 18 feet above sea level is the standard for finished floor elevations. Existing natural gas, water, storm and sewer utilities are replaced, but usable infrastructure for electrical, cable and communications services are retained where possible.

Large trees, particularly live oaks and magnolias, are preserved whenever possible. Green space is optimized for future site amenities, such as community centers and swimming pools.

Construction of a camp for construction workers in Harrison Court begins in December and is completed in April.