Thursday, March 13, 2008

Commissary to open April 8

Bigger and better best sums up Fort Detrick’s new commissary due to open April 8 with a grand opening ceremony that’s sure to please shoppers who get in on the activities and special deals lined up to mark the event.

Local, state and federal officials will join post and commissary officials for the 9:30 a.m. ceremony that marks a new level of commissary service for the Fort Detrick community, according to Rob Cauffman, store director.

‘‘This is more than just a new store for our community. We’ve nearly doubled the sales floor space, which means we now have a much wider selection of products and services to bring to our customers,” said Cauffman.

The new commissary, at nearly 34,000 square feet, is 14,000 square feet larger than its predecessor. New services include a bakery and deli, and the store’s spacious layout and design provide easier access for disabled customers and more parking spaces. Responding to comments from the community, the new store will also be open on Sunday.

The store’s new and expanded refrigeration systems will help the staff keep fresh produce, chilled dairy and fresh meat products, as well as frozen products at their optimum quality levels for customers. The store features five checkout stands and two self-checkout stands, which are very popular with customers who buy a few items, Cauffman said.

The $13.5 million commissary took 20 months to build. It is located on Porter Street between Veterans Drive and Odom Physical Fitness Center. It vacated a building that was built in 1954 as a warehouse and was last renovated in 1992. Fort Detrick officials plan to renovate it for other uses.

‘‘Comparing our new facility to what we had is like night and day. From day one this facility was designed and built to be a commissary, so it’s exactly what we need to provide a premier quality of life benefit for the Fort Detrick community,” Cauffman said.