With the final touch ups in the senior noncommissioned officer – E6 to E8 – homes at 22500 Thunder Road finished, the planned new home construction in the Forsyth Neighborhood is complete.
In less than six years, Picerne Military Housing has constructed its first master-planned community on Fort Riley.
A master-planned community is a residential area that includes additional amenities, such as jogging trails and parks, not typically included in a residential community.
The Forsyth Neighborhood includes 1,389 three- and four-bedroom homes, 14 playgrounds or common areas, a neighborhood center, soccer and baseball fields, a pedestrian and bike trail, a community garden and a bark park. These amenities are available to all Family housing residents.
In addition, the neighborhood’s master plan included a section of land dedicated for a future school. Picerne helped make this a reality by serving as the construction manager for Seitz Elementary School that opened in August 2012.
“All neighborhoods on Fort Riley have additional amenities, so Forsyth’s plan is in keeping with the other neighborhoods here. When planning Forsyth, we looked at the typical Family composition in the different rank bands within the neighborhood and provided features these Families would utilize,” explained Shawn Cheever, project manager, Picerne Military Housing.
Cheever also explained that, throughout the construction of Forsyth, plans were reviewed and amended, if needed, to better service Fort Riley Families.
“When we first started this project, we moved quickly to build the homes then came back later and added the playgrounds or common areas. We learned from residents that the parks were needed sooner than we had thought, so we shifted our delivery schedules in future phases of the project,” Cheever said.
Picerne now has common areas ready for use in the neighborhood before Families move in.
While the neighborhood amenities are additional benefits of living on-post, the new homes are also designed with the Army Family in mind.
Each home has a spacious kitchen, storage space, safe room, front porch, small maintenance-free yard and a garage.
Forsyth Neighborhood houses almost every rank, from privates to lieutenant colonels.
How it all gets done
Picerne’s development and construction plan is complex and requires coordination among numerous departments, all of which is done behind the scenes, to make the transitions as smooth as possible for Families. There are weekly meetings with construction, property management and the leasing teams to review the status of relocations as well as safety and quality control inspections and coordination with various Garrison directorates throughout the construction process.
“With the number of new homes being made available to Families at one time, coordination is essential. We have to look at which homes need to be vacated in another neighborhood due to renovations or demolitions, while balancing the waitlist for incoming Families as well,” said Scott Kotwas, director of construction, Picerne.
During the past five years, more than 2,400 Families have moved into homes in the Forsyth Neighborhood.
Valerie Alexander, Forsyth neighborhood manager, said seeing the neighborhood come together has been astonishing.
“To watch the neighborhood grow, from the groundbreaking in 2006 until now, and get to share it with our service members and their Families is a wonderful experience. The excitement of giving Families keys to a new or newer home in the neighborhood has never diminished for us. It is just as fun today as it was five years ago,” Alexander said.
Picerne began new home construction in Forsyth in March 2007 as part of the 10-year Initial Development Plan. The new homes at Fort Riley were needed to improve living conditions and quality of life for Fort Riley Families. New home construction and renovations throughout Fort Riley will continue through 2016.
By Michelle Geering
Picerne Military Housing
PICERNE MILITARY HOUSING
Forsyth Neighborhood resident service specialists, Donavon Campuzano, left, and Lizzie Flores, right, “spiff” a new home on Thunder Road. A “spiff” includes making sure faucets, window coverings, lights, appliances and other items are in working order and completing any additional tidying to ensure the home is ready for a Family. Additionally, Picerne provides each Family with a gift to welcome them to their new home.