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Residents begin moving into new phase of on-post housing at Fort Drum

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FORT DRUM — Families are beginning to move into new homes in the fourth phase of on-post housing.

The 161 four- and five-bedroom residences, built as either single homes or duplexes, will house junior non-commissioned officers, such as sergeants and staff sergeants.

Joseph E. McLaughlin, project director for Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes, pegged the cost of the phase at $70 million. The developer, a subsidiary of Lend Lease, is paid through the housing allowances of soldiers.

In December, 15 families moved into residences in the new development phase, and Mr. McLaughlin said an average of 15 families will move in each month, a pace that would fill the development by 2014.

He said he had received positive feedback from families that had already moved into the new residences.

“They’re very very excited about getting a new home,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “So far it’s going very well.”

When finished, the developer will oversee 4,027 residences on post: a mix of new homes it has built, older homes it has taken over and the one- and two-bedroom apartments at The Timbers complex.

School-aged children in the new complex, located on the north side of post, will be assigned to the Indian River Central School District.

The district has estimated that it will receive about 300 new students, and Superintendent James Kettrick predicted the majority of those students will attend Calcium and Evans Mills primary schools.

“At this point, we have enough classroom space to accommodate the need this year and will determine the amount of teachers as students are enrolled and where they are enrolled,” he said.

Mr. McLaughlin said he and his staff had been working with the district to make a smoother transition for soldiers and their children.

“The fact they can get in, get them in the school district, that’s very important to us,” he said.

Mr. Kettrick said he had not yet determined how much more the new students will cost the district. He added that in the future, the district may have to consider new construction to handle the influx of students.

Times Staff Writer Reena Singh contributed to this report.

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