ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Military personnel and the City of Abilene broke ground Monday on the new visitors center at Dyess Air Force Base.
If you’ve ever had to drive onto Dyess Air Force Base, chances are you’ve either seen or walked through the visitors center.
“It may be their first impression of not just the Air Force base, but Abilene,Texas,” said Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams.
The building was constructed more than 50 years ago, and Major Michael Morriss says the Security Forces Squadron is outgrowing the building.
“It was too small to have very many people waiting inside,” said Major Morriss. “A lot of the folks would have to wait outside in the elements, whether that was the intense summer heat or snow.”
In the last year, Dyess Air Force Base saw nearly 40,000 visitors.
Monday, Security Forces broke ground on a new future and a new building.
“We can take care of more folks,” said Major Morriss.
The project, which is expected to cost around $1.2 million, will be paid for through a grant obtained by the City of Abilene.
“I think it really shows that the community and the city itself does care about maintaining a partnership and maintaining the well being of the Air Force base, the troops who work on it and of course, the citizens of Abilene,” said Major Morriss.
Mayor Williams says it’s an investment that will bring people to the Key City and hopefully keep them here.
“We want to do our part to put our best foot forward,” said Williams.
Work will begin immediately and is expected to be completed sometime this Summer.