Keesler shopping complex almost ready to open

By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Workers are busy putting the final touches on the 260,000 square foot shopping complex at Keesler Air Force Base.  When the commissary opens, shoppers will be treated to a smorgasbord of amenities and food choices, according to Commissary Manager Gordy Harris.

"We've got dramatically more produce, meat, bakery and deli, dry chilled and frozen food," Harris said. "The store is going to be humongous."

Rolling down the aisles, you see the wide variety of choices shoppers will be treated to, in a store that's almost twice as big as the original commissary.  Harris said anticipation among base personnel is running high.

"The Keesler community is extremely excited about the grand opening of this commissary," Harris said. "It's been over four and a half years since the hurricane and this anticipation is just overwhelming."

On the other side of the complex, base exchange employees build shelving, and boxes of goodies are waiting to be unpacked.  When the BX opens, Katrina will become a distant memory.  That's the opinion of BX Manger Bill Buell.

"We're really excited about it," Buell said.  "We're able to finally get everything under one roof for the first time since Katrina."

And Buell said under that roof will be a selection of items that has never been available on the base before.

"We're going to have a power zone, which is our electronic department, which is state of the art. We're going to have a full soft lines area, which is much larger than we have now. We'll have an expanded cosmetic area."

Also included will be an area selling military clothing and gear, and several other specialty shops. And shoppers with green thumbs will be treated to a full service garden department.

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