by Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern
***image2***Miesau Army Depot is looking better than it has in years, sporting a new recreation center, beautification projects and renovations to the fire department, chapel and gym.
Home to several Army units, Miesau has been a part of the KMC for more than 50 years. For the past several years, its future had been unclear until recently when it was listed as an enduring installation in the Army’s transformation plan.
“Decisions were made that Miesau is very useful and has advantages for us to hold onto it,” said Elaine Leist, the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern deputy commander.
Now, the garrison has kicked into high gear to make up for lost time, pouring close to $300,000 into projects on the garrison in the past several months, said Kent Carson, the garrison’s public works director.
The reason, Mr. Carson said, is that the garrison’s commander, Lt. Col. Mechelle Hale, has made Miesau a priority.
“All these improvements have been under her direction. She wants to take care of the troops,” said Mr. Carson.
Restoring Miesau will be a continuous project, said Mr. Carson. He cites several projected long-range military construction projects: two new barracks in fiscal year 2011; a new gym and sports field in FY 2012; and, a new chapel in FY 2013.
Another projected $430,000 will go toward buying and installing 30 street lights at various parking lots at Miesau in the next several months, said Mr. Carson. Taking place now is the demolition of a storage shed on Miesau. This is projected to cost $60,000 and scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30.
Improvements of the Army’s only fire department in the KMC will also continue with the building of a 30-foot extension for additional storage and work space, and to house its chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear truck. This is expected to be completed in early November and cost $530,000.
Firefighters recently saved the garrison $15,000 by replacing the flooring and painting the walls as a self-help project.
Before all the renovations began, the close to 500 Soldiers, National Guardsmen and civilians, who work or live on Miesau had limited entertainment options on base. Now, there is a recreation center with a complete kitchen, TVs, computers with internet access, and game tables.
“This is a big gain for Miesau,” said Steve Pelletier, the garrison’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation director. “Now, they have a place to watch TV, prepare snacks, play games and go on the internet after the library closes.”
Mr. Pelletier added that six new tables and a large grill will be added to one of the barracks’ picnic areas in time for summer grilling next year.
The center is free and open to all U.S. ID card holders. It can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those wanting to use the center can sign out the key from the staff duty officer, who is located in the Miesau gym.