Ceremony for major milestone at Tyndall lodging facility

Tyndall Lodging Top Off Ceremony
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 8:18 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The base of the future, is one step closer to becoming the base of the present.

A historic top-off ceremony was held at Tyndall Air Force Base Thursday, celebrating the placement of the final steel beam in the structure of the new lodging facility. It’s a major milestone for the project, which has been a long time coming after the destruction of Hurricane Michael.

“This process started shortly after the storm hit in 2018,” said Robert L. Bartlow Jr., the division chief of the natural disaster recovery division. “We are over 4 years down the road now, so it’s really exciting to see tangible results and see construction happen, and to see these sorts of milestones, it’s an exciting moment for all of us.”

The 394,000-square-foot structure includes 360 rooms, along with a restaurant, training rooms, fitness areas, and more. According to officials, it’s a 91.5 Million dollar investment that will help Tyndall better accommodate visiting airmen.

“This facility hosts a number of exercises where they bring in aircrew and support personnel from other air force bases across the united states and even overseas,” Bartlow said. “And so when you bring them in you want them on your installation, it makes it efficient and increases the training time versus having them commute from long distances away.”

While the lodging facility increases efficiency, the construction of the building also allows for resiliency against future storms. The new structure is being built to Miami-Dade standards, which will allow it to withstand most hurricanes.

“We’ve raised up these facilities so they are not vulnerable to storm surge, and in doing so we’ve also incorporated sea level rise projections due to climate change,” said Bartlow.

“Tyndall specifically and especially the lodging facility has been built to withstand 165 miles per hour winds,” said Project Manager Milea Franklin-Webb.

Although construction isn’t moving quite so fast, the lodging facility is expected to be complete in 2024. Until then, the placement of the final steel beam symbolizes the rapid recovery and growth of the base.