FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker's Lyster Army Health Clinic is closing areas of its parking lot as part of a construction and paving project that began Nov. 8 and continues through mid-February.

The construction and paving are an effort to eliminate parking lot irregularities and hazards, and to provide a more user-friendly parking lot for beneficiaries, said Col. Patrick Denman, U.S. Army Aeromedical Center, Medical Service Corps commander.

"The parking lot hasn't truly been renovated for four or five years. As you walk around you can see it needs a little love. Because we have the Veterans Affairs clinic on our second floor we realized rapidly that we need a lot more handicap parking spaces. To that end we are redoing the parking spaces to exceed (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance and meet the regular standards for parking spaces. In the long run it will create more parking spaces for our beneficiaries," Denman said.

The clinic, located at Bldg. 301, Andrews Ave., provides primary care and ancillary services to a military population that consists of active duty service members, their Families, a large military retiree population and their Family members.

"There is going to be some inconvenience to the customers, but we're going to phase the project to minimize the impact as much as we can. We're going to take advantage of the Veterans Day holiday to have the contractor pave the main parking area, which will be striped at a later date after the asphalt has cured," said Kenny McCarty, contracting officer representative for the Directorate of Public Works.

Phase one for construction and paving of this multi-phase project began Monday and involves the main parking lot handicap area. Phase two is the main parking lot resurfacing, scheduled for today. Phase three is the U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine parking lot (located behind LAHC) scheduled for Dec. 13; and Phase four is the east parking lot (Veterans Affairs clinic) scheduled for Dec. 27.

Parking lots are scheduled to be stripped Dec. 1 for the main parking lot handicap area, Dec. 13-17 for the main parking lot, Jan. 24 for the USASAM parking lot and Feb. 15 for the VA clinic parking lot.

Sidewalks in front of the building will also be redone in conjunction with the repaving to ensure ADA compliance, Denman said.

Beneficiaries can expect to see new signs posted for parking redesignations when construction and paving are complete.

"Our Fort Rucker Families, Soldiers, and retirees deserve this; they deserve the best. Our philosophy here is we know that we are here for our beneficiaries, and when they come to the Lyster family for healthcare, we want to make sure their experience is as positive as it possibly can be. And we realize that experience of care starts the minute they drive into our parking lot," Denman said.