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Posted 4/21/2016

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By Melissa Buckley, Iwakuni Resident Office Staff

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District’s Iwakuni Resident Office has readied several more new buildings for handover to Marine Corps Air Station directorates. 

In early April, the final inspections, with the air station’s facilities department, for the new commissary, Sakura Theater command assembly hall with parking structure and Kintai Inn addition were completed.

Kuniaki Nakamoto, U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, Iwakuni Resident Office, mechanical engineer, said the new commissary has a sale area of approximately 26,910 square feet – the same as nine tennis courts. That almost doubles the retail space of the old commissary, which is the size of about five tennis courts, according to Nakamoto.

He said some of his favorite features of the new commissary building are the solar power system on the roof that supplements the power, the remote monitor system that allows the Defense Commissary Agency staff in the U.S. to monitor the temperatures in the freezer and refrigerators and finally the interior décor which was designed by a Defense Commissary Agency designer.

“Working on this project was a good experience for me,” Nakamoto said. “I found the cultural differences interesting at times, especially working with Defense Commissary Agency personnel in the U.S.”

Nakamoto also worked on the new assembly hall.

He said the new building has 981 seats, 13 wheelchair spaces and 11 seats for those assisting people in wheelchairs.

The new theater was built with 3-D movie capabilities and the main stage curtain depicts cherry blossom season at the Kintai Bridge, according to Nakamoto.

“There are touches of the picture that are Japanese traditional art Ukiyoe. My hope is that people will have a nostalgic feeling of spring in the auditorium,” Nakamoto said.    

Just down the street from the new theater and next to the new commissary is the Kintai Inn addition.

According to Nakamoto, the Kintai Inn addition includes 60 new rooms, a conference room, laundry room and linen rooms. 

Chief Petty Officer Matthew McFarlane, Transient Billeting manager, said he is excited about the new expansion because his team can now accommodate more transient personnel and better support the growth expected on the base.

“My favorite thing about the expansion - it's brand new.  We will be able to provide already existing 5-Star service in a larger capacity,” McFarlane said.

Nakamoto said he tried to think about what kind of hotel room is best while working on the Kintai Inn project.

“Every time I stay at a hotel I check out everything inside of the room,” Nakamoto said.

McFarlane said the goal is to open the new Kintai Inn expansion for occupants by July.

corps Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station USACE