Key West, Florida (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West Public Works Department conducted an informal groundbreaking ceremony April 24 symbolizing the beginning of construction for a new Navy Gateway Inn & Suites (NGIS) facility. Due to COVID-19, a traditional groundbreaking ceremony could not be held.
“We really wanted to be able to let the contractor get started on this project,” said NAS Key West Public Works Officer Lt. Cmdr. Mike Duffy. “We were hoping to hold a formal ceremony, but that cannot happen with the current travel restrictions and the need to keep social distancing among the team. It is about keeping our staff safe and continuing our mission.”
The new NGIS facility will have at least 244 rooms to accommodate transient personnel associated with year-round training operations and will serve as a satellite facility for the adjacent NGIS “Fly Navy” lodging facility at NAS Key West’s Trumbo Point.
“This project will replace three existing lodging facilities on Boca Chica Field that suffered extensive damage from 2017’s Hurricane Irma,” said Duffy.
“We are very excited about what we like to call ‘Fly Navy 2,’” said NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Sohaney. "Having new space away from our flight paths and high noise areas to house our transient personnel will greatly help the mission as we train year-round here in Key West."
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded the $55.9 million contract Sept. 27, 2019, to Korte Construction Company out of St. Louis, Missouri, for design and construction of the new NGIS facility.
The contract also has options, if exercised, which would add 134 rooms and provide for furniture, fixtures and equipment and bring the contract award total to $76.3 million.