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The new community center at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, is scheduled to open by summer. It will house a library and the orientation area for base newcomers.
The new community center at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, is scheduled to open by summer. It will house a library and the orientation area for base newcomers. (Tim Wightman / S&S)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Yokosuka has a number of high-profile construction projects under way.

Among the most visible are renovations to the first-floor lobby of Building 1555, which houses Community Bank and the Navy Personnel Support Detachment, repairs to Nimitz Boulevard and the construction of a new community center.

Public Works deputy Eric Rankin said the base had newcomers in mind when officials decided to renovate Building 1555.

One aim, he said, was to create separate areas for the support detachment and people waiting for the airport shuttle.

"It’s basically to improve the flow," Rankin said. "We want to make sure that new people coming [to the base] get a good first impression."

The $1 million project, expected to be completed in March, includes renovations to the bathrooms, lobby and reception area, as well as exterior landscaping to include a new gazebo.

The work being done to Nimitz Boulevard, which connects the waterfront to the base hospital, Building 1555 and commissary, will make it easier — and safer — for shipboard sailors to walk to that part of the base, Rankin said.

"When you saw them walking, you would see them ducking around and out in the road and potentially running into bicyclists or vehicles," he said. "So it was a very unsafe situation."

Construction to Nimitz Boulevard should also wrap up in March, Rankin said, and will include replacing or modifying street lights, relocating traffic signals and landscaping.

The new community center, being built across from the commissary, is expected to be completed before summer.

The four-story complex, which Rankin said would cost approximately $11 million, will cater to families and be the location of the new base library as well as the orientation briefing area for newcomers.

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