The first phase of a $3.5 million project in Wichita Falls, Texas, to improve the aesthetics of the area outside of Sheppard Air Force Base’s main gate and installation security is nearing completion.
The first phase includes demolition of an old hotel and apartments very close to the base’s perimeter that will mitigate a longstanding force protection concern, reported 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs. Other components of the project’s initial phase include property acquisition and asbestos abatement. Work on this phase is expected to be completed next month.
“Not only was force protection an issue, but the main gate needed a major facelift and upgrade that both the airmen and the community could be proud of as they enter one of the most important bases in the Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Doherty, 82nd Training Wing commander.
The effort is being funded by multiple sources. The Texas Military Preparedness Commission awarded Wichita Falls a $1.75 million defense economic adjustment assistance grant in December; the city is providing $1.25 million in economic development funding; and the Federal Transit Administration is contributing $500,000.
Subsequent phases call for construction of a public transit transfer point, with bus and personal automobile access and parking. The entire project is scheduled to be completed next summer. See a digital model of the project on the base’s website.
“This project will dramatically improve the aesthetics of the entrance to the base for outside visitors, which will show that the city cares greatly about the continued missions at Sheppard,” said Mayor Glenn Barham. “It’s just another example of a public-public partnership project that not only the city of Wichita Falls but the men and women of Sheppard can take pride in.”