Best Family Neighborhoods Near Scott Air Force Base
Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, was established at the start of World War I in 1917. Today, it is home to the Air Mobility Command and the U.S. Transportation Command. 13,000 people work at the base, including 5,500 active duty Air Force and 3,400 Air National Guard and Reserve professionals. It’s currently operated by the 375th Air Mobility Wing, with the Air Force Reserve Command’s 932nd Airlift Wing and Air National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing operated at the location.
A History of Scott Air Force Base
The need to expand the role of aviation in the U.S. Armed Forces is one of the reasons the Scott Air Force Base was originally established. The goal was to establish a location for an air base in the Midwest, and after considering numerous locations, the U.S. War Department signed a lease to do so in June 1917. With $10 million in the budget, the project got underway. The team had 60 days to build about 60 buildings for the base.
The base was named after Corporal Frank S. Scott, who was the first enlisted service member who died in an aviation crash. When it initially opened, the base was used as a training field for pilots who would later fly in World War I. The first flight took off in September of 1917. By the end of 1918, more than 300 pilots and ground units were trained and ready to go at the location.
After the war, it wasn’t clear what would happen to Scott Field, as it was known at the time, and by 1921, it was transformed into a lighter-than-air station to transfer the Army Balloon and Airship School to the area. Later, the field would once again serve as a training destination when World War II broke out. During the war, the location aimed to train skilled radio operators.
With the foundation of the U.S. Air Force in September of 1947, Scott Field was renamed Scott Air Force Base. Numerous groups and fleets would operate throughout the area in the years following. In June 2014, the location added two cybersecurity squadrons with a $16 million infrastructure improvement that also added 300 additional people.
The Best Family Neighborhoods Near Scott Air Force Base
The location of Scott Air Force Base puts it in the heart of the Midwestern region. There are numerous communities and small neighborhoods throughout this region, and many of those who live off-base can easily commute to the base for work. The following are some of the best locations for families near Scott Air Force Base.
Belleville, Illinois A city located in St. Clair County, Belleville, is about 20 minutes from the base itself. It is a modern, middle-class community that’s home to about 42,000 people. It’s one of the larger cities in the region, providing excellent access to good schools, many neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and sports programs for all members of the family. Belleville is home to the Belleville Philharmonic Society and has numerous historic properties on the National Register of Historic Places, including Knobeloch-Seibert Farm and Gustave Koerner House.
Belleville also has a thriving real estate market with single-family homes, condos, townhomes, apartments, and multi-family properties available. The average price of a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home here was $178,000 at the end of 2023, though home values range from $100,000 up to $250,000. Home rental prices range from $675 up to $3,000, depending on the type of home and location.
New Baden, Illinois Another neighborhood within a short drive of the base is New Baden, which is just a short 20-minute drive down State Route 161. The city is much smaller, with about 3,400 people calling it home. It’s easy to access just off I-64. A small, charming community, it is a noted German community, with its founding in 1838, mainly made up of German immigrants. Much of the heritage of this community pays homage to this. It is a modern town, though, with good schools, outstanding parks, open spaces, and a few smaller restaurants and shops. There are several churches in this area. Homes are smaller single-family properties with some condos included. You can expect a wide range of property options on the market, with a median sale price of about $188,000 at the end of 2023. Rentals are somewhat limited but tend to be priced at $1,200 up to $3,200 per month for single-family homes for sale.
Fairview Heights, Illinois About 25 minutes from the base is the moderately sized town of Fairview Heights. This community spans about 11 square miles and is home to around 17,000 people. You’ll find it’s one of the best areas for quiet side streets, neighborhood parks, and small restaurants and shops that are locally owned. The students here typically attend the Pontiac William Holliday School District 105 or Grant-Illini District 110. It’s also home to a more significant recreation center with sports programs and the St. Clair Square Mall.
Single-family homes dominate this market, with a median sold price of around $165,000 at the end of 2023. There are more home rental options in this community, with options ranging from $700 up to $3,000 per month.
Which community near Scott Air Force Base is right for your needs? These examples are some of the best family-friendly neighborhoods worth taking a closer look at for those considering a move to the area.