A public-private partnership is to run family housing at Naval Academy, Station

July 30, 2004|By Mary C. Schneidau | Mary C. Schneidau,SUN STAFF

More than 100 units of military housing will be converted or demolished when the Navy enters into a public-private partnership next year to manage properties at the Naval Academy and Naval Station Annapolis.

A private partnership will take over the daily operation of 371 family homes in the fall of next year, Lt. Cmdr. Ed Zeigler, a spokesman for Naval District Washington, said in an e-mail response to questions. Buchanan House, the home of the academy superintendent, and barracks and housing for singles, including Bancroft Hall, will remain under Navy control.

The Navy plans to reduce the number of homes to 269 through demolition and through conversion to larger homes or to nonhousing use. Historic homes will not be converted or demolished, Zeigler said.

The partnership - which has not been selected - will be able to respond to resident needs better than the Navy can, said Cmdr. Tom McKavitt, base operations officer at the academy.

Residents "will see a much more responsive effort on maintenance and upkeep, and what the Navy will see is a much better return on their investment dollar," McKavitt said. He did not know how long the process would take.

The company or companies should be named in October next year and will be awarded a 50-year contract. A limited liability company probably will be formed with the Navy as a limited partner and the private company as the managing member, Zeigler said.

The military estimates that it saves 10 percent on the cost of operation through partnerships, according to the Department of Defense's housing privatization Web site. There is also likely to be a reduction in the number of Navy housing personnel at the academy and the naval station, Zeigler said.

The affected housing includes century-old historic homes along the academy's parade field, 70-year-old historic cottages throughout the academy yard, and traditional townhouses and single-family homes at Naval Station Annapolis, McKavitt said.

Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer said she is concerned that the historic homes may not receive the attention they deserve and has suggested that the Navy not relinquish operational control of them.

She said her main interest is protecting historic sites and noncommercial housing, Moyer said. She has appointed David Fogle, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland, to serve as her liaison with the Navy on the effort to privatize housing.

Historic and archaeological sites at other military bases that have privatized housing have been treated with great care, Fogle said, and he will remind the Navy of its role as a "steward of history."

"I think at the Naval Academy they're all very, very conscious of the historical aspects of the academy and their traditions," he said.

The Historical Annapolis Foundation is also concerned about the academy's historic homes.

Greg Stiverson, president of the foundation, said most were built between 1902 and 1910 and are great examples of beaux-arts architecture. He said he was worried the academy would be a "guinea pig" for privatization, but that he has been assured the Navy has significant experience in the area and will take care of its historic sites.

The military has formed public-private housing partnerships at more than 30 installations since 1996 and is working on about 60 others.

A $2 billion project to renovate units and build new housing at Fort Meade is part of the privatization initiative. About 3,000 homes and several community centers are being built.

Other sites within Naval District Washington, including the Patuxent River Station and Indian Head Center, will also be part of the contract that privatizes housing at the academy.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.