Leader Blues

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TOP STORY > > Construction set for base exchange

Baggette Construction Inc. of Decatur, Ill., broke ground last week at Little Rock Air Force Base on a new $22.3 million base exchange.
The new base exchange will be located next to the existing commissary, according to Brig. Gen. Rowayne Schatz, commander of the 19th Airlift Wing at the base. The project is being funded by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Construction is slated to begin in January and the project should be completed by summer 2010.
The facility features an additional 48,000 square feet to account for an assortment of new dining choices and a larger merchandise selection, according to Pam Honor, Little Rock AFB Exchange general manager.
Alan Thurston, Baggette Con-struction project manager, said plans call for using local companies as much as possible for subcontracting. “We’re pleased with the project and looking forward to working with the base, community and AAFES,” added Thurston.
The current base exchange building will be converted for another use, perhaps as a base library, Schatz said.
Work could also begin this summer on the long-sought $14.8 million Joint Education Center, a partnership between the air base and the city of Jacksonville.
Jacksonville residents taxed themselves $5 million to help provide a new, updated building for the college, outside the base perimeter.