YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A renovation project was begun this week at Yokota’s Yujo Community Center to give base airmen another venue in which to spend their free time.

The $750,000 face-lift, expected to take eight months, will improve the quality of the facility and “more importantly, provide the airman a place to go on Friday and Saturday nights,” 374th Services Division community program director Tara Wagner said in an e-mail.

The division sought input from younger, single airmen living in nearby dorms to make the facility more appealing to them.

“The renovation was by the airman for the airman,” said Wagner. “They worked with the base architects to design a sports bar atmosphere with televisions, an overhead thatched roof, a dance floor and game room.”

A decision on whether alcohol will be available in the Yujo has yet to be made, said Cathy Catling, flight chief of family member programs.

Construction will be conducted in phases, beginning with the carpeting and walls of the dining area outside Suzuki’s Cafe, Catling said. She added that no plans have been made for what to do with the space previously occupied by Golden Video.

Suzuki’s, along with the other businesses housed in the Yujo, including George’s Insurance and the ITT travel office, will remain open during the renovation, Catling said

Wagner said some may be relocated within the facility during phases of construction and added that there will be no restroom facilities available from Oct. 9 through Dec. 11.

“We hope that when the renovation is complete, the community will see a sense of ownership and pride in the new facility by our younger airmen,”Catling said.

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