Groundbreaking for New NAS Dining Hall

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Meridian, Miss. The Naval Air Station in Meridian will soon have a new dining facility, to replace the current facility that's more than 50 years old. The current plans require demolishing an old barracks building, to build the new 21,500 square foot facility. Not only will the facility be a state of the art building, but it will allow less energy consumption.

"The current dining facility is 50 plus years old and since its construction, our throughput of diners has significantly been reduced, so we're in dire need of a new facility," said Lieutenant Joshua Ross "At the same time we can reduce our energy consumption as well as our square footage."

The ground breaking ceremony of the 400 person facility was just one of many steps before the new dining hall opens up in the fall of 2015. The construction of the building will total almost 9 million dollars, a huge up front cost, but in the long run a huge savings when it comes to an energy reduction.

"It's a continual savings over time," said Lieutenant Ross. "Typically there's a little more upfront cost in the construction, but there's a relatively short payback period and it's just the right thing to do to allow our country to be less dependent on foreign energy."

The dining facility will not only reduce energy by up to 50 percent, but it will allow NAS Meridian to build a state of the art building that surpasses federal regulations according to Construction Manager Hank Burns.

"We will obtain a silver rating and we would also meet EPAct 2005, which requires energy reduction of 30%," said Burns. "We are still in the design stages, but we are predicting currently about a 49% reduction energy from the 2005 standards."

Burns said not only will it reduce cost to all taxpayers, but it will allow NAS Meridian to be more energy conscious.