Fort McCoy News February 14, 2014

Housing Division makes historic move to South Post

Public Affairs Staff

It's a culmination of years of hard work by the Fort McCoy staff. For the recipients of housing services on Fort McCoy, this is a pretty big deal.

For the first time in the post's history, the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Housing Division offices and warehouses are centrally located for their customers in the Family housing area on South Post.

Photo 1 for housing article
A view of the Family-style seating area in the newly renovated South Post Community Center at Fort McCoy.

The move includes the reopening of the renovated South Post Community Center, building 6158, which also is home to the DPW Housing Division offices. Adjacent to the community center is a new housing warehouse — building 6167 — that includes a Self-help Center for housing residents.

"This move is extremely important because it's an improvement for our customers," said DPW Chief of Housing Ross O'Neil. "Having the community center reopened, the housing office here and everything else in one place is an effort that we've worked on for many years. And, now that we're open in the new location, we want residents and Fort McCoy staff to come and see our renovations and improvements."

When the South Post Community Center reopened in January, that began the final stages of the move process, said Housing Management Specialist Sherry Oslie. The center was closed for renovation from September 2012 until January.

The center, built in 1931, previously served as an instructors building and the garrison commander's home. The inside of the center now features an open-design concept with a conference and meeting area, a fully upgraded kitchen, two reconfigured Family bathrooms and a sitting area with new furniture that includes a 64-inch flat screen television. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation soon will add display monitors to advertise upcoming events for all residents. The center's front sunroom can be used during the warmer-weather months of the year.

The center already has 50-plus events scheduled to be held there for 2014, to include classes, town hall meetings and Family and community gatherings. To schedule events at the center, contact the DPW Housing Division.

Photo 2 for housing story
Sherry Oslie of the Housing Division looks over the fully equipped kitchen in the newly renovated South Post Community Center.

"We want the residents to stop by anytime to the community center," Oslie said. "Even if it's not reserved, people can come by and use the facility. They can come in and read, watch television and just see what a nice place we have here."

The Self-help Center section of the warehouse is heated and also holds the office for Housing Maintenance Inspector Walt Sanders. The rest of the warehouse is cold storage for spare appliances and other items required for maintenance on Family housing units. It also has an upgraded docking facility for warehouse deliveries.

"The Self-help Center is open from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, for our housing residents to get items they need," Oslie said.

"They can sign out a ladder or a wheelbarrow, get some light bulbs or other items. If residents need something when the center is closed, they can make an appointment with us, and we'll go over and help them out since we are nearby."

Overall, the DPW Housing Division provides a wide range of housing-related services for the Fort McCoy community.

First and foremost, they help Soldiers and their Families find housing on post or get them on the housing waiting list if they desire to do so. If that is not available, then the Housing Services Office will assist them in finding quality, affordable residential rentals outside the gates of Fort McCoy.

"Every incoming Soldier receives an in-briefing that covers housing entitlements and services," Oslie said.

"Our staff will also brief Soldiers, Families and civilians on areas covering such subjects as renter's insurance and the military clause, which allows them to end leases or rental agreements if they receive orders to deploy or to move.

"For Families who are interested in buying a home, the Housing Services Office also has basic referral information for what is available in the housing market area," said Housing Management Assistant Sue Bussert.

The DPW Housing Division partners with the Army Community Service Relocation Program to offer prospective clients the best and most-current information available for completing a move to Fort McCoy.

Though a lot of hard work has been done by the housing staff to make the move to South Post, Oslie said their hard work will continue in supporting and serving their customers.

"We are happy to be here on South Post to provide more-efficient and upgraded services for the Families we support," Oslie said.

"Come and see the new and improved South Post Community Center and our new offices. We're in a beautiful facility for all residents to use to add to their quality of life in the South Post housing area."

The DPW Housing Division offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call 608-388-3704 or 608-388-3906 for housing questions, to schedule events or reserve the South Post Community Center, or for support with the Self-help Center and warehouse.