Cannon looks to build new airmen center

Courtesy photo: Cannon Air Force Base The 28,000 square foot Dining Hall-Airman Center will consist of a dining facility and is also scheduled to have a post office, community center, and other services.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff Writer

Cannon officials are consolidating dining, recreation and services venues in one 28,000-square-foot building in anticipation of more airmen coming to Cannon Air Force Base.

Informally called the Dining Hall-Airman Center, the $9.9 million facility will be ready for furnishing by the end of the year, according to Staff Sgt. Brandon Seals, a Cannon public affairs spokesman.

Construction of the facility started Jan. 21.

“It will be a two-floor building, and on the second story will be a recreation area so that way they’re able to consolidate two different things in one building,” Seals said.

Seals said Cannon would need a larger facility to accommodate a bigger base population.

Cannon officials estimate the base population to reach between 4,400 to 5,000 by 2014.

The base population stands presently at about 2,000 airmen, Seals said.

Seals said 1,000 more people are expected to swell the base population by the summer of next year.

The center will replace Pecos Trail, the present dining facility on base, and the Airman’s Center, which houses the Post Office, Honor Guard and the base community center, according to Seals.

“There wasn’t anything wrong with the original Pecos Trail dining facility; this gave the opportunity to … accommodate more people,” he said.