EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE — Corvias Military Living and Eglin Air Force community are celebrating the grand opening of the first of 747 new homes on the base, as well as the unveiling of the Warrior Landing Community Center.

The May 3 ribbon cutting included participation from Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Azzano, commander, 96th Test Wing; Heath Burleson, senior vice president, and Stan Morehead, business director, Corvias Military Living; and, Eglin residents Master Sgt. and Mrs. Kenny Ketchum.

The ceremony took place at the newly-constructed Warrior Landing Community Center, a 12,000-square-foot facility featuring a club room, fitness center, children's play area, gym, yoga studio, as well as an outdoor entertainment area with a kitchen and swimming pool.

"We are proud to provide so many families with a welcoming and state-of-the-art community to call home," Burleson said. "Our service members and their families deserve comfort, convenience and quality amenities, and we are committed to bringing these improvements to our residents at Eglin."

Eglin has been in service since its initial construction in the 1930s and is the largest base in the Continental Group, a collection of six Air Force installations across the country, and

"Quality of life for our members and their families has just improved exponentially thanks to the Team Eglin members who worked so diligently for so long and to our privatization partner, Corvias Military Living," Azzano said. "Providing quality, comfortable and safe homes, as well as a community atmosphere, helps promote a sense of wellbeing for our airmen and their families."

All of the homes, which being constructed in the Warrior Landing and Indian Trails neighborhoods, will exceed the Air Force's square footage benchmarks. The homes will range from 1,600 square feet (designed for junior service members) to 4,000 square feet (for general officers). They include two-car garages, modern appliances and energy efficiency.

The first 38 homes are complete and occupied.

Corvias is in the process of demolishing all of the existing homes on the Eglin base, with the exception of 126 homes in the Hidden Oaks neighborhood, which were constructed in the early 2000s.

Due to the Corvias principle of giving back, the construction team has donated household items from demolished homes, such as sink vanities, kitchen faucets, light fixtures and cabinets, to support the housing program of Habitat for Humanity. Corvias donated more than $30,000 worth of items in 2015.

MILITARY HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Congress established the Military Housing Privatization Initiative in 1996 to improve the quality of life for service members by improving the condition of their housing.

The MHPI was designed and developed to attract private sector financing, expertise and innovation to provide necessary housing faster and more efficiently than traditional military construction processes would allow. Through MHPI, Military Services are authorized to enter into agreements with private developers selected in a competitive process to own, maintain and operate family housing via a 50-year lease. For more information, see www.acq.osd.mil.