New Coast Guard Base Housing Completed

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Coast Guard recently opened 20 new housing units on base Kodiak. Personnel department head, Commander Brian Chambers, says the last neighborhood the Coast Guard built on the island was Aviation Hill between the late 90s and 2003.

The development of these most recent duplexes began a couple of years ago. Construction company Tutor Perini Corporation broke ground in 2014 and completed construction for a price tag of $19.5 million. Chambers explains it’s part of the plan to provide more housing for the Coast Guard without stifling the housing market in the community.

“If we have too many folks in town then I think we compete with the other Kodiak residents and would wind up crowding them out of a house. If we have too much housing on base, then we’re probably gonna depress the housing markets in town, and so I think that’s a tough balance, and hopefully we’re hitting that the right way.”

Chambers says in comparison to other Coast Guard bases, Kodiak has the most residences at 426 homes plus about 125 barracks rooms.

The Coast Guard sees a constant flow of members in and out of base housing, and this year is no exception.

“We reorganized within one of my shops for personnel support and pay. We’re doing that for all the Coast Guard in the whole state. We wound up closing an office in Ketchikan and bringing about five folks up here to do that kind of pay administration. And with some of the new styles of airplanes and helicopters they’re getting, they got about 25 guys over at the air station.”

As Chambers says, the Coast Guard has also updated the facilities in the new housing.

“The heating, instead of having one thermostat that controls the whole house, I mean there’s upwards of a dozen different zones so you can really dial in each room and how much heat it gets and that kind of thing for efficiency, and there’s a pretty good sized looking control room in between the two houses, sort of a utility space there that has a lot of pumps and computers and control and stuff, again so you really get that kind of efficiency.”

Chambers says a few families have already moved into the duplexes, and there will be an unveiling Saturday, September 17 at 1 p.m. on base.

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