$64 Million EAFB Housing project underway - KOTA Territory News

$64 Million EAFB Housing project underway

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A $64 million project is underway to nearly double the number of rental homes for military personnel at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Groundbreaking ceremonies on Monday, May 19, marked the public start of the first building under a 50–year management contract.

The Balfour Beatty Communities development company will build 214 two- and three-bedroom homes and a community center over the next two-and-a-half years.

28th Bomb Wing Commander Col. Kevin Kennedy and Balfour Beatty senior vice president Mark Lavin say the new Black Hills Estates and expanded Rushmore Heights neighborhoods will improve the lives of Ellsworth families.

"We have about 3,200 military folks come in. One of the challenges is to find rental housing. There's a lot of great housing in the Rapid City area but most of it is for purchase. There's not a lot of single–family houses for rent. This will help us meet that need," Col. Kennedy said Monday.

"I did 25 years in the Army and housing was never quite what it should have been to really take care of families," Lavin said. "I think the whole housing privatization program has changed the norm for housing in the military."

Pennsylvania–based Balfour Beatty manages military housing on 55 American bases, Lavin said.

The company took over residential housing at Ellsworth last August.
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