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Officials Break Ground on Moon Military Commissary

Construction will soon be under way on a University Boulevard military commissary, marking the end of a six-year battle to bring the facility to Moon.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, said it was a testament to perseverance. 

Members of Pennsylvania's Congressional delegation and military officials from across the region earlier today attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the long-awaited Moon Township military commissary

The 43,000 square-foot facility, set to open in the fall of 2013, will house a grocery story for more than 170,000 military members and their families in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. 

The regional hub will be located at the corner of University Boulevard and the Interstate 376 Business Route in Moon and will more than double the size of Oakdale's Charles E. Kelly Commissary, which is slated to close. 

The  to bring the new commissary to Moon has been in the works since 2005, when the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission targeted the Oakdale commissary for closure.

Officials at the event described years-worth of bureaucratic hurdles that often stalled the project from coming to fruition.

The Defense Commissary Agency in 2008 gave initial approval for the Moon commissary project, but construction was delayed while additional funds were secured for construction. 

In December 2011, the state's Congressional delegation announced that more than  was freed for the new post. 

"Folks from Western Pennsylvania just don't know how to take no for an answer," said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills. "There are no Republicans and Democrats when we are working for our troops in Western Pennsylvania." 

Earlier this summer the Mississippi-based Carothers Construction was  a $12 million contract to serve as the prime contractor on the project. 

The commissary, which will sit directly in front of the U.S. Army Reserve base off Soldiers Lane, will mark the latest addition to Moon Township's military community. A $10 million Naval Operations Support Center is slated to open in 2014 on the grounds of the neighboring Air Force Reserve 911th Airlift Wing Base, also located off the Interstate 376 Business Route.  

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, and Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, were also on hand for the ground breaking. 

Members of Congress often referenced the planned commissary while countering Defense Department efforts to shutter the 911th Airlift Wing earlier this year. 

"We've got to keep that base open," Murphy told audience members at the ceremony. "We've seen huge levels of civilian support (for the 911th)." 

"There's a lot of enthusiasm for this project," said Maj. Gen. William D.R. Waff, commanding General of the 99th Regional Support Command, who said having the commissary located in Moon Township could lead to increased use of the facility. "It's going to pull everybody back together." 

Helen August 17, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Thank you veterans for all that you do! Be safe. God bless you!
jack wise August 17, 2012 at 07:45 PM
the man most responsible for the commissary being built is colonel jerry kintigh, usaf retired. god bless you, jerry. i do give credit to all the politicos who were there to get their pictures taken. let's not forget dennis davin, director of the allegheny county department of economic development and patrick earley, manager of the allegheny county department development. they made this happen. please remember former allegheny county chief executive, danny onorato who was in office when the project got off of the ground. god bless one and all. respectfully, sgt jack wise us army 1957-1959
Mikeyiscool August 18, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Sorry Mr. Wise, there was no single "man responsible" for this great accomplishment. If you want to award credit, it should go mostly to the Western Pennsylvania Military Affairs Council. This was the group that led and continues to lead the efforts against the Federal Government and Defense Departments continual efforts to close our Western PA Military Facilities. This is a huge win in the effort to keep the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station (911th) open and keep Western PA the most concentrated area of Reserve and Retired Military Members in our Nation!!
jack wise August 18, 2012 at 01:20 PM
to mikeyiscool: i stand corrected. you are right. the organizations you identified deserve credit. god bless you, too, sir (or madam--which ever the case may be.) respectfully, jack wise p.s. mikeyiscool--my email address is jackwise@comcast.net. please contact me directly. i would welcome the opportunity to speak to you personally.

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