MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- While Tri-Command Military Housing celebrates its first birthday, there are still many renovations going on in all the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort communities.
In March 2003, TCMH was privatized to better the standard of living for its military residents, according to John Perry, asset manager, TCMH.
With over 1,100 homes in Laurel Bay alone, TCMH is breaking up the sections of Laurel Bay into neighborhoods.
“It’s tough to have 1,100 homes and say they are a neighborhood,” Perry said. “So we are breaking up Laurel Bay into sections in an attempt to bring some pride in the place our residents live.”
Laurel Bay is being separated into four smaller neighborhoods; Ashepoo Shores, Edisto Woods, Combahee Landing and Freedom Sound which includes new homes to be completed later this year.
“The neighborhoods will have different fixtures to give each of them a different character,” said Marjorie Lockhart, community manager, TCMH. “Different road signs, the color of the roofs and types of décor within the neighborhood will be some of the differences between the communities.”
The names of the new neighborhoods share their namesakes with rivers that run through the ACE Basin outside Beaufort’s city limits.
“We chose the names to give our communities after the rivers of the ACE Basin to give our neighborhoods a link to the Beaufort area,” Perry explained. “It kind of gives the whole community a feeling of being a part of Beaufort, not just the military in it.”
In addition to building different communities, each neighborhood will have its own community center and other areas the neighborhood can call its own.
“We are working on a new community center for the Combahee area,” Lockhart said. “Also we have Laurel Bay School Three opening up in the for the 2004 school year and the houses in Freedom Sound being completed within the year.”
Besides the building of new homes in Freedom Sound and outdoor recreation areas, TCMH is also renovating every house in Laurel Bay.
“We started with a few houses on Eagle Lane,” Perry said. “Eventually, we will touch every home in Laurel Bay. We are taking into consideration, what the residents like and dislike in the renovated homes and make changes in the most cost effective manner.”
Before the prototypes were finished TCMH took into consideration what many residents thought would be nice additions to their homes. Improvements on existing driveways, roofs and landscaping as well as additions to include front patios, shutters and rear yard fencing in some of the homes.
“We took ideas from the original survey and will use input from the prototypes to come up with a plan for each model of home so we can make adjustments that will be both appealing to the resident and cost effective for us,” Perry said.
Many houses in Laurel Bay have already had work done to them with the addition of new roofs and asphalt driveways throughout the community.
“We have been doing maintenance that doesn’t require our residents to move,” Perry said. “But, eventually we will be moving our residents, a few at a time, to different homes so we can renovate the home they live in now. When we move people we will be moving them to a house very similar to or better than their current unit.”
Tri-Command Military Housing is trying to move its residents into a houses that are equal to or better than their current home, never worse. With all of changes going on in Laurel Bay it may seem the other TCMH areas are getting neglected, but that is not the case. There are projects in the works on Parris Island, the Naval Hospital and the Air Station to make life better for their residents.
“We are almost done with a playground in Pine Grove that will be opened with a big block party,” Perry said. “And on Parris Island we are building new homes and moving residents into those as soon as possible, while tearing down the older homes to make room for more new homes.”
Tri-Command Military Housing is making a noticeable effort towards the improvement of their facilities all over the Tri-Command area.
“We want the service members who live with us to feel they have more than just military quarters,” Perry said. “We want them to feel they have a home to come back to after a long day at work.”