European edition, Tuesday, July 17, 2007

GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — After a few minor construction delays, the new post exchange/commissary complex is set to open on Sept. 26.

When officials broke soil on the project in September 2005, Matt Mennona, AAFES’ Grafenwöhr consolidated exchange manager, said the $38 million complex, to be jointly operated by the Defense Commissary Agency and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, would be open in April 2007.

Mennona has not responded to recent inquiries about why the opening has been delayed by nearly five months.

However, Karl Meier, PX project manager for the Klebl Construction Co., said in February that heavy snow delayed the project by two weeks. And U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr spokeswoman Susanne Bartsch said last week that, according to local German government construction office chief Klaus Gerstendorff, there was another six-week delay due to additional construction requirements by AAFES and some changes in planning.

“Construction is currently scheduled to be completed by the end of this month,” Bartsch said.

AAFES spokesman Lt. Col. David Konop said a new shoppette/gas station is due to open near the new PX on Aug. 1.

“Right now it looks like 26 September is the projected opening date for the Main Exchange. The Exchange is going to open with the Commissary,” Konop said in an e-mail response.

The 18,000-square-foot mall will include a food court, several specialty shops and parking for 1,000 vehicles.

author picture
Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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