Armed Forces Retirement Home Construction On Schedule

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Truck loads of concrete and miles of steel reinforcement bar are beginning to take shape at the new Armed Forces Retirement Home. It's currently the largest construction project in the City of Gulfport.

The new facility will include a trio of eight story towers, built atop a 180,000 square foot headquarters building.

David Probst is project superintendent.

"It's going well. Right now we're right on schedule where we're at. To date, we've got approximately 10,000 yards of concrete in the ground. Progress is good. Design stage, we're at 95 percent with the government, with our design team," said Probst.

Four tower cranes move materials wherever needed. For safety's sake, each has its own distinct warning horn and radio system.

"Each crane has dual radios. One for the ground and we've got a separate radio that all four cranes can specifically talk to each operator," he said.

Veterans who will live in this finished project can watch its progress. A web camera mounted on a pole near the old chapel building transmits up-to-date images of the work to the Armed Forces Retirement Home website.

One familiar feature of the old Armed Forces Retirement Home will be returning. Although it's not a part of the main contract, there are plans for building a new elevated walkway across Highway 90.

Probst says his crews take special pride knowing their work will benefit America's veterans.

"People that put their life on the line for us and fought for this country. I think it's real special. It's special to me and my crew out here that we had the opportunity to come out here and build this building for them."

The site preparation work began in February. The project is scheduled to be finished in July of 2010.