As part of an upgrade on Naval properties on Guam Naval Forces Marianas plans to renovate 132 homes in the South Finegayan area and estimates the work to cost between $10 million to $25 million according to the Navy bid.

The Navy plans to convert carports to garages. Other renovations to the structures would include the exterior storage trash enclosures concrete roof slabs over new front and rear patios with lighting and textured concrete floor mirrored closet doors ceramic tiles.

The Navy has several other different improvement projects for housing units. The projects that will get underway include a project in 2006 to “replace” 126 units in the North Tipalao location and another project in 2007 to replace an additional 108 units. A project in 2006 and 2007 in Nimitz Hill will have construction crews adding another bathroom to 22 homes and making site improvements to things such as street lights and sidewalks. In 2007 134 units will be replaced in the old Apra Housing location while four units will be renovated in the Navy Hospital housing area.

The Navy said these projects were already in the planning since 2003.

The houses at South Finegayan will also receive upgrades to the electrical system to include separate switches for bathroom lights and exhaust fans ceiling fans with concealed wiring additional electrical outlets computer data port/telephone and upgraded cable TV jacks re-configuration of existing laundry/utility room refurbishing and removal/replacement of existing air conditioning system. The construction bid also calls for the modification of existing concrete walk and restore ground cover. Repairs will replace worn-out architectural finishes exterior and interior doors and hardware windows closet doors and shelves bathroom floor and wall finishes kitchen countertops plumbing fixtures and accessories hot and cold water piping waste and vent piping toilet accessories garbage disposals range hoods exhaust fans door chimes power panels wiring devices light fixtures and smoke detectors. The work also includes painting removal and disposal of hazardous materials on-site encapsulation of chlordane-contaminated soils clean-up and related miscellaneous work. More improvements include additional off street parking new light poles at guest parking landscaping and cluster mailboxes.

While the Navy continues to improve its living quarters for its service members and their dependents Lt. Arwen Chisholm public affairs officer for the Navy said the Navy does not plan to switch from an Overseas Housing Allowance to the Basic Housing Allowance program. If a Navy service member is an O1 that person is entitled to a $2 350 housing allowance; an E1 through E3 is listed at $1 900. An O6 is listed at $2 600 while an E9 is listed at $2 450. The numbers reflect rental allowances for members with dependents members without dependents should multiply the allowance by 90%. The current rate for utilities since March 2005 is $520 move-in housing allowance is $416.

In other “quality of life” improvements the Naval Exchange is in the process of making improvements that will allow for an expansion of 30 000 square feet of retail space and for proper layout. It is a $4.79 million project awarded to Reliable Builders Inc. and includes warehouse conversion into retail space and a garden shop and retail space renovation. MBJ