Dormitory 2423 is getting ready for a new look and will be undergoing renovations until spring of 2015.
According to Tech. Sgt. Chad Perkins, 412th Civil Engineering, Airman Dorm leader, the plans are 65 percent complete and construction should start within the next few weeks. The project will be based on the new Air Force dormitory concept – Dorms-4-Airmen.
The Dorms-4-Airmen concept is a four bedroom apartment with a private bath in each room. The shared, social area would include a kitchenette and washer and dryer.
Kevin Jones, 412th Civil Engineering, Unaccompanied Housing manager, said that Dorm 2423 is one of the first dorms within the command that’s renovating, but the project will be “unusual” because the apartment-style units will only have three rooms.
“It’s supposed to be four dorms, four bedrooms sharing a common area, but because it’s a renovation, we can’t fully implement that concept because we can’t fit four,” said Jones.
When the project is complete, the dormitory that used to have 69 rooms will be reduced to 56.
With the current configuration, each individual had their own room, but shared a bath and had no social areas and no kitchen. The upgraded building will also have fiber optic internet capabilities and small storage units available.
“The beauty of if it and what the Airmen are going to get out of it, is having that private bath and the kitchen area so they don’t have to utilize the common kitchen that we had in the other dorms. Also, we’re going to have washer/dryers inside the quads,” said Jones. “They’ll have all the amenities they want within their common area.”
While the dorms themselves are changing, the majority of the renovation won’t touch the center of the building where all of the day rooms are located. The long-term plan is to renovate dormitory 2424 as well.
According to Jones, the Air Force conducted a survey in 2011 to evaluate the quality of the single-Airmen living spaces across the Air Force. The evaluation was based on things like security, parking availability and amenities.
“What they did was, they racked and stacked them based on the condition and they gave each dorm a score,” said Jones. “Dorm 2423, within the command, was rated highest for receiving funds to upgrade.”
The project was awarded $7.2 million for renovation.
“A lot of these guys, it’s the first time they’ve ever not been with mom and dad so you’ve got to give them a place to kind of set up shop that doesn’t feel like a hotel,” said Perkins.
Jones added that it’s about “making sure that we put an emphasis on quality of life.”
The Air Force requires that an unaccompanied Airman spend three years living in the dorms. Jones noted that it’s “not like a deployment” and the dorms should be made to feel like home.