Base Upgrades Health Care Facilities

If you are one of the more than one thousand people a day who use Keesler Medical Center, you will be noticing some changes soon. The facility is in the process of a $35 million upgrade and renovation.

The work includes several areas of the second largest medical center in the Air Force. Just take the windows as an example. Nearly all of the one thousand windows will be replaced, that alone will cost about four million dollars.

Last year about 800 babies were born at Keesler, so expectant mothers will be glad to hear that major improvements, to the tune of $7.5 million, are coming to the labor and delivery area. Two million dollars will also be spent on interior design improvements in public areas, including entrances and lobbies, and main corridors.

First Lieutenant Allan Hardman is director of plant operations.

"The thrust of all these renovations has been modernization. We are bringing in state of the art equipment, and this is a project we are immensely proud of here at Keelser."

Of course, with that much work going on, there has to be some inconvenience for both employees, and those using the medical center. However, Hardman says due to advance planning, it should not be a big problem.

The original portion of the Keesler Medical Center was built in the 1950s. New wings have been added through the years, but this is one of the biggest renovation projects the medical center has ever seen. A three story surgical tower will also be going up in the next year or two.