U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Congressmen Mike Doyle (D-PA), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Mark Critz (D-PA) announced today that the Defense Department has awarded a construction contract to build the new Moon Township Commissary. Carothers Construction, Inc., Oxford, Miss., has been awarded an $11,997,000 contract for a period beginning approximately June 27, 2012 through October 18, 2013.
"After a long fight, I'm pleased that construction on a new Commissary is now imminent," said Senator Casey. "This will be a first-class facility to serve our eligible retirees and prevent our servicemembers in Southwest Pennsylvania from having to travel nearly 400 miles to get to the nearest commissary."
"I'm pleased construction will begin soon on a new commissary for Western Pennsylvania to better serve our veterans and service members," Sen. Toomey said. "They've waited many years for an easily-accessible commissary, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Pennsylvania delegation to ensure the new facility is completed in time to maintain service for these great Americans."
"We've been working for years to ensure that local service members, their families, and veterans continue to have access to the support services they need and deserve," Congressman Doyle said. "It's a great feeling to announce that this project is finally going to break ground."
"From the moment the Pentagon targeted the Oakdale commissary for closure, our region's congressional delegation and military families rallied together so that local veterans, reservists, and active-duty soldiers would have a new facility close to home that they could call their own," said Congressman Murphy. "Today's announcement takes us one step closer to making that a reality."
"There are more than 160,000 eligible military personnel, veterans, and families who will benefit from the construction of this facility," Congressman Altmire said. "This effort required broad support and cooperation, and I'm proud that we're moving forward and that our military personnel and veterans will continue to be able to use this community asset."
"Our local servicemembers, veterans and their families deserve a first-class commissary, and after seven years of fighting on their behalf we are finally beginning construction on this long-awaited project," said Congressman Critz. "I'm thrilled that a contract for construction has been awarded, and I look forward to the completion of this project in the fall of 2013."
In 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) identified the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility (CEKSF) in Oakdale for closure. Closing the facility meant that 168,000 eligible military personnel and veterans lost Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) operations as well as the Commissary, Post Exchange, and Military Clothing Sales Store (MCSS) services that they had come to rely on.
Over many years, members of the previous and current delegation took numerous steps to see the project become a reality, including fighting to keep the facility open, securing funds to build a new Commissary, and fighting to get final authorization for the project from the Department of Defense and Congressional Committees.