MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hi -- Expanding in recent years, Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) began development on three new construction projects to modernize the way our Marines work, train, eat, and play.
The three projects include a larger and more modernized medical facility, new base housing, and expansion of the Wiki-Wiki shopping center.
“With the construction of a new medical facility, you’re condensing five facilities into one super clinic that will have combined services like lab, pharmacy, and radiology- a one stop shop for all healthcare needs,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Craig M. Rowland, a senior health facility planning and project officer, Navy Medicine West, Detachment Hawaii. “The major difference being that this new facility will provide a state of the art working space for both Navy and Marine Corps active duty and family members.”
Rowland said the ability for active duty military members to access all of these services in one consolidated location is crucial for time management, convenience, and medical readiness.
“Currently they go to the regimental building, there they get their appointments done, then drive across base to the Kaneohe Bay Branch Health Clinic to get labs drawn, receive medications and get radiology tests taken care of,” he said.
According to Rowland, the current schedule depicts a construction completion date by Dec. 31, 2019. The outfitting transition of furniture, equipment, staff and personnel will occur from the beginning of January 2020 to March 2, 2020. Once the outfitting transition is complete, the facility will be open for business.
“I’m quite excited; I’ve been a part of it since the design process,” he said. “This project has taken 13 years to become a reality; from concept until construction, predicted to 2020, it takes a long time to plan.”
Family housing across the base is also being expanded and optimized, said Molly Koerperich, community director for Ohana Military Communities.
“The Nani Ulupa’u Redevelopment project will maximize the space of the previous neighborhood and will convert nine multi-unit buildings (40 in total) into 30 single-family, four bedroom homes, said Koerperich. “The housing development will be highly desirable, terraced up the side of Ulupa’u crater, and oriented with some of the best view planes on base.”
According to Koerperich, the 2000 plus square foot homes will have large fenced in back yards, and a separate lanai upstairs and downstairs to take advantage of the view overlooking North Beach.
“This project will also help alleviate the shortage of housing in this rank band, and will satisfy one of the largest wait list categories on MCBH,” she said. This project will enable optimal usage of our scarce real estate and improve the quality of life and readiness for our Marines and families aboard MCBH.
A third project, aimed toward improving convenience and accessibility to a wider variety of local goods and services, is the expansion of the Wiki-Wiki Marine Mart.
“Outside The Wiki-Wiki Marine Mart, we have white box spaces that indirect vendors are going to occupy,” said Brian Yamamoto, project manager for Marine Corps Community Services. “Panda Express, Boba Tea store, and barber shop are going to fill that space, and we are going to have a bathroom that’s accessible from the outside.”
According to Yamamoto, the shopping center will be outfitted with modernized features and will be extremely beneficial to Marines in bachelor enlisted quarters.
“The Wiki-Wiki Marine Mart will be the closest to barracks residents,” said Yamamoto. “They won’t have to travel to the front gate Marine Mart for amenities or groceries.”
All of these additions to MCBH are integral to improving the quality of life for those aboard the installation, and are set to be completed before fall of 2020.
“I always look forward to change,” Yamamoto said. “I like seeing bases developing, and not staying the same. This is nice-you have more availability for the residents of the base.”