MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Misawa officials are building a recreation center geared for E-1s to E-4s and their families, and really want input.

Ammie O’Grady, Mokuteki Community Center director, said a $772,000 renovation project is already underway to turn Building 1006 — an old hangar — into the state-of-the-art Airmen’s Center.

The best description, she said, came from an airman who was explaining what he wanted in the new center — a "Wal-Mart of fun."

O’Grady said officials have some idea of what they’d like to do with the converted space, but they desperately need to hear directly from the target audience. To make that happen, O’Grady is hosting an open house in the building April 9, beginning at 6 p.m.

It’s open to E-1s to E-4s and their spouses, but registration is required so they can plan the catering.

O’Grady said to expect a "brainstorm session," to help organizers figure out what the younger folks want when the center opens later this year across the street from the base club, possibly in June.

Some initial thoughts include wireless Internet access, a movie area, gaming systems, card tables, rock climbing, a dance floor and stage stocked with musical instruments, a DJ booth and, possibly, a bar for those of legal drinking age. An open area outside the building could feature barbecue grills and space for basketball, she said.

But nothing is set in stone, and there’s still time to have a say in the final product, she stressed.

Coutesy of the Mokuteki Community Center

Organizers are using this basic concept — including a dance floor, a movie area, card tables, a gaming area and a lounge — when designing the Airmen’s Center. These plans are not finalized, and organizers want community input.

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