Military Feature: Base housing torn down

Courtesy photo: Airman Elliott Sprehe A military family housing unit is leveled at Cannon Air Force Base. Sixty-three housing units, some unoccupied for more than 10 years, are being demolished at Cannon.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Demolition crews are working at Cannon Air Force Base to remove 63 substandard housing units, according to base officials.

The houses, most of which are located in the area near the base hospital, were built in the 1950s and would require major repairs to meet military housing standards, Housing Management Flight Chief Tim Farmer said.

The houses will be replaced by athletic and recreation facilities, Cannon spokesman Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery said, explaining the existing recreation facilities near the flightline need to be moved because of renovations associated with the arrival of Air Force Special Operations Command.

AFSOC will assume command of Cannon Oct. 1.

Housing officials have been waiting more than five years for funding to remove the houses, some of which have been vacant 10 years or more, Farmer said.

Asbestos removal began in August.

Farmer said the materials containing asbestos were transported to a federal and state approved asbestos landfill.

The demolition by Albuquerque contractor GranCor Enterprises is slated for completion in November.

“Some units have been totally demolished while others are in various stages of demolition,” he said.

The demolition effort also involves the removal of streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure associated with the houses, Farmer said.

Emery said military officials decided the housing units won’t need to be replaced.

“They’ve determined between what the local market has (in available housing) and what we have on base, that should be able to handle our families’ needs,” he said.