FORT RILEY, Kan. - Soldiers and Families in the Central Flint Hills Region who visit Fort Riley's Post Exchange will be happy to hear construction on the new facility is almost complete.

Construction is 93 percent done, and is scheduled to be fully completed by Dec. 17, when fixturization and merchandising will begin.

According to Stan Young, AAFES general manager, there will be about 50 Fort Riley personnel and 20 people from other posts assigned to help make sure the store is opened on time. Young said he anticipates workers taking until Feb.11 to complete fixturization and merchandising.

Two days after that, on Feb. 13, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., where the PX will be officially opened by Brig. Gen. Perry Wiggins, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, and the AFFES commander, as well as other individuals essential to the project.

As part of the grand opening ceremony, shoppers will be offered special sale prices, which will only be valid during opening week, as well as giveaways featuring items such as televisions.

The new PX will offer customers about 120,000 square feet in which to shop and dine. The extra space means that existing departments will expand by 33 to 400 percent, with the electronics area seeing the biggest increase.

In addition, several new areas will be added, such as a firearms department where customers will be able to buy shotguns, pistols and ammunition.

Another new area will be the Power Zone Technician area. The technicians who work in this area will be able to repair all kinds of electronics, even items not purchased at the PX. These technicians work for the same company the Department of Information Management calls when an outside company is required to fix things, such as an office computer.

Features of the new building include a no-maintenance floor, which will save the installation about $50,000 a year. The building also will be more energy efficient.

Young said the crowning jewel in the structure will be an arch which runs the length of the mall and gives it more of an open-air feeling, as opposed to the closed-in feeling some people get in the current PX.

"It provides that awe factor. It's what you would expect to see when you go to a downtown mall," Young said.

New stores also will be provided in the new PX, such as Starbucks, Game Stop, Manchu Wok, a Kansas souvenir shop, flower shop and spa, which will feature a hair stylist as well as manicures and pedicures.

For customers who can't wait to get a look at the new PX, the food court will be opening Feb. 3.

The old PX building will house a furniture store, expanded Class 6, and a troop store. The food court currently housed in the old PX will remain there, as will the barber and many of the vendors in the mall area.

Page last updated Mon December 1st, 2008 at 12:50