Armed Forces Retirement Home just months away from completion - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Armed Forces Retirement Home just months away from completion

By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport is more than 50 percent complete. In less than eight months, the buildings that stretch over four and a half acres of land will be home to more than 500 veterans.

"The rooms have been enlarged compared to the original facility," GSA Project Manager Steven Smith said.

Each resident will have up to 450 square feet of his or her own personal space. The furnished rooms come equipped with cable hook-ups and state of the art doors.

"Because it's user friendly for those that have mobility issues," Smith said.

Plans for the retirement home also include going green.

"I think about 60 percent of the roofs are covered in green; you'll basically see a green roof. It's not grass, it's a series of types of plantings."

The approximately 700,000 square foot facility will offer a number of other amenities for residents.

"Bowling alleys, dining facilities, a wellness center that dealt with medical, optical and dental care."

There are only two Armed Forces Retirement Homes in the United States, the other is located in Washington, D.C. Gulfport Councilman Ricky Dombrowski said after Katrina, some residents who lived in the Gulfport retirement home were able to go to the D.C. home.    

"The people that are not here are dying to get back, just so excited about getting back to Gulfport. And we're going to be glad to have them back," Dombrowski said.

Because of the infrastructure, the building is designed to withstand a category five hurricane. The walkway that went over Highway 90 will also be rebuilt. This time, it will be open for public use.

The residential move in date is scheduled for October first.

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