Airman center under construction at Cannon

By Gabriel Monte, Freedom New Mexico

Cannon officials are consolidating dining, recreation and services venues in one 28,000-square-foot building in anticipation of more airmen coming to Cannon Air Force Base.

Tentatively called the Dining Hall-Airman Center, the $9.9 million facility will be ready for furnishing by the end of the year, according to Staff Sgt. Brandon Seals of Cannon Public Affairs.

Construction of the facility started Jan. 21.

“It will be a two-floor building, and on the second story will be a recreation area so that way they’re able to consolidate two different things in one building,” Seals said.

Cannon officials estimate the base population to reach between 4,400 to 5,000 by 2014.

Seals said Cannon needed a larger facility to accommodate a bigger base population.

The base population stands presently at about 2,000 airmen, Seals said.

Seals said about 1,000 more airmen are expected by next summer.

The center will replace Pecos Trail, the present dining facility on base, and the Airman’s Center, which houses the post office, honor guard and the base community center, according to Seals