HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- An area on Hill Air Force Base that served as a construction yard for nearly six years is now home to laughing, running children.
On Wednesday afternoon at Hill, base officials opened Patriot Hills Regional Park, the latest piece of a massive renovation project for Hill's housing area.
The park site is where construction equipment was stored and where a double-wide construction trailer was set up during the renovation.
The new facility features play equipment, restrooms, benches, a picnic pavilion with tables and more than an acre of green space.
A solid fence and mature trees surround the park.
"This park will give our residents a better chance to get outside to meet and interact with their neighbors," said Rulon Gardner, Boyer Hill military housing construction manager. "(There) is over an acre of grass that will provide an enjoyable place for families to gather, mingle and enjoy the outdoors."
To replace a large cluster of outdated homes on base, the Air Force entered into a 50-year housing privatization contract with Boyer Hill in September 2005.
Later this year, Boyer expects to complete new construction or remodeling of 102 housing units since the 2005 contract.
When Boyer Hill completes the construction project, 21 historic properties on the base will have been renovated, 562 homes will have been renovated and 437 homes will have been constructed.
Todd Sorenson, project manager with Boyer Hill, said the entire housing project cost $105 million, with the park costing more than $300,000.
The new park is centrally located among the nearly 1,000 homes.
Sorenson said several trails connect separate areas of the housing development to the park.
"We tried to make this entire community very walkable. This park is kind of the last piece or the conclusion to that theme."
Boyer Hill, a subsidiary of Salt Lake City-based developer The Boyer Company, will provide the financing, design, construction and property management of the homes for 50 years. After that, the Air Force will take over ownership of the homes and the park.