BREAKING NEWS

AAFES troop store expansion completion pushed to 2015

The completion of a planned expansion of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service troop store in Puerto Rico has been pushed back to 2015 instead of the original target of 2013 because of the possibility of unexploded ordnance at the site, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said.

The current AAFES store is only 1,120 square feet and was built in 1987. Sablan said the expansion covers 5,000 square feet. Officials earlier said that the expansion project could cost $2.44 million.

Sablan requested study of the AAFES store expansion in 2011 and completion was originally planned for 2013, “but the possibility of unexploded ordnance at the site has caused delay,” he said.

The existing store, which serves some 4,000 active and reserve service members, retirees and their families, is small, deteriorating, and in need of a major overhaul.

Sablan said in early 2013, however, the U.S. Navy, which controls the property, required that an Explosive Safety Survey be completed before construction can begin.

He said the Army’s 9th Mission Support Command recently transferred the necessary funds for the survey to the Navy and the go-ahead on the project is expected by the end of July.

“Clearance of any ordnance could then occur in September and October, and construction could begin in November. The store expansion is expected to take 12 months to complete. Grand opening is scheduled for December 2015,” Sablan added.

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Haidee V. Eugenio | Reporter
Haidee V. Eugenio has covered politics, immigration, business and a host of other news beats as a longtime journalist in the CNMI, and is a recipient of professional awards and commendations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental achievement award for her environmental reporting. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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