HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The new convenience-style express mart at the main Base Exchange here is on track to open for business by Aug. 1.
Visitors to the BX can’t miss the fenced-off construction area and the new gas pumps and awning in front of the building. But soon the fences will be removed, the pumps turned on, and customers will be able to take advantage of one-stop shopping on Hanscom.
The Express will offer quick consumables, grab-and-go snacks, and gasoline. The Express will also offer beer, wine and liquor much like a Class VI store. The store is located in the section of the building that formerly housed the barbershop and the dry cleaner’s.
“The goal is to have that area completely opened up again by August 1,” said Tammy Toney, general manager, Hanscom Army and Air Force Exchange Service consolidated exchange. “That will include the entire front of the building, the Express and gas pumps, the BX main entrance, the food court/dining area, and the mall with the barbershop and dry cleaner in their new locations.”
A section of the dining area of the food court is already open, with tables and chairs set out for patrons to use.
The completion of the Express will be a major milestone for the project, but it will not be the end, as renovations in the main BX store began in February and are still ongoing.
“We’re already in the main store working on the cosmetic improvements,” said Toney. “The first phase consisted of laying down new carpet, installing new ceiling tiles, and certain areas received new coats of paint.”
She added that there is a lot of work involved in keeping up with the ebb and flow of the construction; employees must regularly shift the fixtures and the merchandise around the store to stay clear of the work areas.
“Everything is still available for the customer but it’ll just be a little more of a hunt to find what you want,” said Toney.
Another feature of the store make-over was to remove a wall to create a larger Military Clothing and Sales section.
“The first portion of the Military Clothing and Sales section is almost complete, but we’re having to do it in phases so we can stay open during all the renovation,” said Toney. “Our goal is to be completely done with the entire renovation project by the end of the year.”