Heating system upgrades, solar panel installation, family housing renovations highlight RB construction in 2018/19

A backhoe is stationed in front of RB family housing Bldg. 184 in preparation for digging. Bldg. 184 is one of the housing units that will see complete renovation. Photo by Holly DeCarlo-White USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

 By Larry Reilly
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

During the next couple of years, numerous family housing units on Robinson Barracks will receive some minor repairs or be completely renovated, and many other housing units will be fitted with solar panels.

The complete renovation of buildings 181-187 as well as 161 and 195 is scheduled to get underway. The renovation of Bldg. 300 is completed and families will soon be moving in.

“The renovation of the buildings includes a complete remodeling of each of the family quarters in the building,” said Ernest Epps, garrison Installation Coordinator for RB. “Each family quarters is gutted-out and remodeling is done in all the living areas, to include the kitchen, bathrooms, living room and bedrooms.”

Once the renovation is completed, many of those same buildings will be fitted with solar panels. The placing of solar paneling on Buildings 154-158 is scheduled to start during the month of May.

With the complete renovation of many family units and the fitting of solar panels on numerous other buildings, Robinson Barracks will undergo a flurry of construction projects for many months to come; however, another project set to begin soon, will add to the list of ongoing construction projects on the installation.

“Beginning in May and continuing for one year, will be a construction project to repair large portions of the heat distribution system on Robinson Barracks, especially in the Grenadier Family Housing. Buildings directly affected include: 154-161, 164-167, 170-176, 188, 300-302, 306-308, 312-313,” Epps said. “Although a lot of the work will be performed inside the buildings, some of the work will involve the buildings’ entrances as well as the streets near the buildings, so residents should use caution while in areas where construction is underway.”

Along with those construction projects is another project starting in May that will have an immediate impact on the traffic flow on RB.

“Road work in two locations on Robinson Barracks will start in May,” Epps said. “Street repairs will limit traffic flow to one lane just beyond the main gate entrance, and road work will be underway at the intersection coming from the main gate and going to the commissary and/or to the housing area.”

Construction projects involving the family housing area will be ongoing for a couple of years; however, the biggest construction project in the near future for RB is the building of a new elementary school.

Present plans include the demolition of the current elementary school and the building of a new school on the same site. However, another location on RBis being seriously considered as it would have the least impact on ongoing school functions and the new site would be closer to family housing units.

“We are relooking the current plans to demolish and rebuild the new school on the same site because of the potential advantages to using another site,” said Dianne Wilson, chief, garrison Master Planning Division.  “Ongoing major construction on an active school site will cause major distractions and disruptions to the normal school day. The demolition, construction and normal school activities will all have to be phased and sequenced, adding time and complications to the overall construction process. The new site being considered is also more centrally located to the family housing areas.”

Added costs, adjusting programmed funding times, environmental constraints, and other disadvantages must be thoroughly considered before DoDEA and the garrison commander make any final location decisions.

“The sleepy hollow atmosphere of Robinson Barracks may be disrupted with many construction projects during the next couple of years; however, after the dust has settled and the family units and the new school are completed, Robinson Barracks will again be the best hilltop living location in all of Stuttgart,” Epps said.