New dormitory standard means bigger rooms

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sara Banda
  • Air Force Print News
Air Force officials have developed a new dormitory standard designed to enhance the standard of living for residents of Air Force dormitories worldwide.

Construction on the four-plus-one style of dormitory could begin as early as this year. This style has four airmen sharing a common living area, complete with a kitchen and living room, but having their own bedroom and bathroom. Under the current one-plus-one plan, two airmen share a kitchenette and bathroom, but have their own bedroom.

The new plan is a direct result of a recent policy change by the secretary of defense that increases the allowable space for dorm rooms to 17 square meters, said Col. James Holland, Air Force housing division chief. He added that the new dimensions, which constitute an increase in size of nearly 50 percent from the 11 square meters authorized under the one-plus-one plan, were authorized with certain stipulations on cost and overall building size.

"The secretary of defense authorized us to increase the size of private living space in the dormitory and provide private bathrooms, as long as we do it for the same cost of the existing dormitories," he said.

The new plan sends a clear message of support to enlisted men and women worldwide, said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray.

"The four-plus-one is a great initiative that improves on the one-plus-one design," said the chief. "It will give our airmen more space and a better layout."

Eight bases have agreed to go ahead with the four-plus-one plan in 2003's construction budget: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Barksdale AFB, La.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Pope AFB, N.C.; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Sheppard AFB, Texas; and Osan Air Base, South Korea.

The already built one-plus-one dormitories will not be renovated, as they are deemed adequate by the secretary of defense policy, said Kathryn Halvorson, Air Force housing division deputy chief. Both plans, she said, offer considerable upgrades to previous dormitory standards.

"The one-plus-one room was good because it was a private room, but it was small," she said. "We think it's a win-win (situation) because the airman living in dorms now will get larger rooms."

Murray agreed, adding that the change is the latest in a series of quality-of-life improvements for airmen everywhere.

"The new plan takes us further in the continuous journey of enhancing quality of life for our airmen," he said.