FORT LEE, VA (June 26, 2013) -- Work is set to begin Monday on a $5 million renovation at the Fort Lee Commissary.

The store entranceway will be modified first, according to Defense Commissary Agency officials. Additional projects inside the facility will continue for the next several months, but store managers anticipate no interruptions in normal operating hours. Customers are reminded, however, that the store will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, effective July 8 - Sept. 30, as a result of the administrative furlough of government civilian employees.

Nadine Johnson, director of the Fort Lee Commissary, expressed her excitement for the renovation project in a recent DeCA article that appeared in the Traveller. "We're glad to see this day come because, ultimately, it will enhance the shopping experience for our customers," she said. "Of course, construction means accommodation, so I ask for our customers' continued patronage and patience during the months the project is expected to take."

The commissary will keep the community informed of changes throughout the project, she noted. The renovation is being financed by surcharge funds -- that's the money generated by the 5-percent fee added to shoppers' receipts.

"The agency has a lot of experience with these projects, and the safety of our employees and customers is paramount in any change made to accommodate the construction," Johnson said. "I think we've got a great plan, and we'll be able to do this while still providing customer access to the full assortment of products the store has to offer."

The project is a needed refresh of equipment and facilities as well as a part of the agency's ongoing adaptation to evolving customer and grocery industry trends. Along those lines, a new customer service kiosk and more self checkouts are being added to the store's front end, Johnson said.

"Our customers want easy access and convenience, and I think the first phase of the project addresses that desire right away," she added. "The modifications to the customer entrance area actually began last year when an in-store bank was replaced with an ATM. Now, the area will be opened up even further with the relocation of the public restrooms away from the entrance to another location near the front of the store. The cart coral also will be moved to a covered area just outside the entrance so customers can conveniently get their carts and enter the store."

Other features of the project include the following:

• Installation of a new heat and air ventilation system
• New flooring and ceiling tiles
• Installation of new refrigeration display cases in the produce section
• Refreshing the overall look of the deli area, as well as the store offices and preparation areas of the produce and fresh meat departments
• A new family restroom included in a relocation of public restrooms
• Application of DeCA's new décor package, which includes distinctive signs and interior color schemes

"We're all excited about the construction, and we're committed to minimizing any inconvenience it may cause, so we welcome questions, comments or concerns our customers may have during the months ahead," Johnson said. "At the end, we're all getting a better place to provide the commissary benefit."

Page last updated Wed June 26th, 2013 at 00:00