Commissary countdown

Keesler facilities combine for shopping convenience



While staff members fill the shelves, people peer through the doors to get a sneak peek at the new BX and Commissary that will be dedicated Tuesday at Keesler Air Force Base.

Football great Archie Manning will be among the dignitaries and airmen who will salute another step in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina at the nearly rebuilt base.

The $60 million, 275,000 square-foot building brings together the BX and commissary, which were in separate buildings that were both damaged by the storm. Also in the new building are a food court, a pharmacy that uses robotics to help dispense prescriptions and a shopping mall with a Starbucks Coffee and other national chain stores plus service shops to get a haircut and buy flowers.

The BX looks much like a Wal-Mart or K-Mart, selling clothing, shoes, appliances, electronics, sporting goods and toys. It also will have a garden center. Store manager Bill Buell said the U.S. Congress dictates what can be sold at the Army and Air Force Exchanges.
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