New Building Projects Rise At Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base

MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa has enjoyed a rejuvenation recently, including a new U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) building expected to open late spring or early summer in 2011.

According to Robert Hughes, base civil engineer, the new CENTCOM facility joins the 268,000-square-foot Intelligence Center that was erected in 2009. In addition, the base's military police have moved into a brand new, 65,000-square-foot squadron facility and the base's runways have been refurbished.

With security an obvious priority, Hughes says that while all buildings on the base are blast resistant, the base uses a rather simple tactic to further keep pedestrians and cars safe from attack -- landscaping. "We use rocks, trees and other things to create stand off distances from our buildings to ensure that people don't get too close," he says. "We use it where it's practical."

But these aren't the only improvements made to the 69-year-old Air Force base. A 275,000-square-foot clinic replaces a hospital facility that was almost as old as the base itself. The new clinic also opened in 2009.

"The old hospital, built in 1956, was the oldest hospital in the Air Force medical service. It had been downgraded to an ambulatory clinic about five years ago. The area we invested the most in was the dental clinic, with approximately 29 new dental rooms. We've also added  a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner and a 64-slice CT scanner that allows us to do diagnostics that much faster."

Col. Dennis Beatty says "green" features such as light sensors have decreased energy consumption by 22 percent and the base is looking for more opportunities to decrease its footprint. "This was significant in upgrading our facilities and taking care of our patients, who deserve our best," Beatty says.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Col. Dennis Beatty and Robert Hughes, MacDill Air Force Base
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