KMC center model shows off its features

Emily Reagan
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The mammoth building skeleton that began rising from the dust off Kisling Avenue on Ramstein a few months ago is the shell for the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2006.

With the construction project fully underway, Army and Air Force Exchange Service and U.S. Air Forces in Europe Services joined together to provide a scale model of the final facility, to give KMC residents an idea of what the final project will look like.

The model, located at the mall area of the Ramstein Base Exchange near the commissary exit, includes a scale of the facility showing the layout of the new AAFES stores and Services facilities, as well as the 2,800 additional parking spaces coming to Ramstein. A duplicate layout poster will also be displayed in the Vogelweh Commissary.

The idea behind the 844,000-square-foot center is to create one-stop shopping, with American and European products, and bring “retailainment,” to the KMC, said Leslie Whitlock, AAFES KMCC project manager.

***image2***The KMCC project consolidates retail services, the standard AAFES food court operations, plus several new stores including Captain D’s, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Manchu Wok and a bakery with wireless connections for laptop users.

The center also will house two party rooms for social gatherings, a café, bookstores, outdoor living and home stores, an amusement center and spa facilities.

Above the food court area will be an arcade center and a four-screen cinema complex with stadium seating.

“The Visiting Quarters wing of the complex is scheduled to open in early summer ’06, just slightly ahead of the AAFES portion,” said USAFE Services Construction Manager Lu Link. “This includes a 350-room lodging facility that mirrors stateside hotel chains.”

In addition to the VQ, the Services facilities also include: a new Ramstein Ticket and Tours office to give customers one-stop leisure travel services, an outdoor recreation facility with all the normal equipment rental opportunities and a two-story climbing wall, a sports lounge geared to providing a “rest stop” for weary travelers or shopping patrons, and a Macaroni Grill – another full-service stateside-style restaurant.

“The Community Bank and Service Credit Union will also be located within the facility, again providing that ‘one-stop’ support,” said Tom Cochran, USAFE Civil Engineering Command architect.

“We want to encourage KMC residents to check out the model to see first-hand the center’s major features and improvements,” said Ms. Whitlock. “An American-style mall should really improve the quality of life for the KMC. It should bring a touch of home to Europe.”