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Army breaks ground on military lodging complex for singles

Elizabeth Jones

Monday, February 25, 2013, 3:52:56 PM
Construction begins on military housing for single soldiers

Military lodging is primarily dedicated to housing families and married couples, but the Army recently took steps to change that. Earlier this month, officials broke ground on the first on-post apartment complex designed specifically for junior enlisted members who are unaccompanied, reports the Army's official website. 

The new development, known as Reece Crossing, will be located at Maryland's Fort Meade and is set to include around 432 apartments designed to house an estimated 1,400 troops. The project is certainly not a small undertaking, with approximately $72 million going toward the new building. Officials say the finished project will offer both one and two bedroom apartments, each measuring more than 1,125 square feet. 

While there have been previous housing options for unaccompanied soldiers, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment) Katherine Hammack says this is the first privatized building but she expects it to be a success.

"This is our first effort into junior-enlisted housing," Hammack said during the complex's groundbreaking ceremony. "We're going to take a look at it, see how it works and then evaluate where it could add future benefit to the Army on other posts."

The construction of Reece Crossing brings up the issue of whether it's best for single members of the military to live on or off the base. Under current guidelines, it may make the most sense for them to live off the base, especially since the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows soldiers to break their leases if they are called to deploy overseas or have to move to a different location. However, if apartment complexes like those at Fort Meade become more common, the decision may not be as easy. 

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