New Name, New Look For Naval Home - - The News for South Mississippi

New Name, New Look For Naval Home

The passage of the National Defense Authorization Act has given the U.S. Naval Home in Gulfport a new name and $22.4 million in funding for a planned expansion. Officially known as the Armed Forces Retirement Home Gulfport, the facility also has a new fee structure and lower rates, said Capt. John W. Zink, director of the home. Among the changes outlined in the defense bill are:

• A new structure that combines the Washington-based leadership of both U.S. Naval Home Gulfport and U.S. Naval Home Washington under one chief operating officer who reports to the secretary of defense.
• Three distinct fee plans that are designed to be more fair for residents. Many of the fees are lower than what they were before.
• Approval to spend up to $22.4 million to expand the Gulfport home, including the purchase of nearly 15 acres of adjacent property.

The goal ``is to have the shovel in the ground for phase one of the expansion this year,'' Zink said. The Gulfport home has not had major improvements since it was built nearly 30 years ago. The mission of the retirement home, Zink said, is to provide a safe, secure and pleasant living environment for residents for the remainder of their lives. The expansion will include additional living quarters, with an emphasis on expanding the availability of space for residents who need assisted living, Zink said. ``The square footage per apartment will be improved,'' Zink said. ``We will take any money we are authorized to spend and bring this facility up to par by 2006.'' 

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