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Wednesday, February 21, 2001

An artist's rendering shows the $85 million
Halawa Heights project that will be the new
offices of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Construction gets
under way on Pacific
Command building

By Russ Lynch

Dick Pacific Construction Ltd. has begun work on a new headquarters building for the armed forces, an $85 million project on Halawa Heights that is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2003.

The new offices of the U.S. Pacific Command will be a six-story structure with 274,500 square feet of working space, adjacent to the existing headquarters at Camp Smith, looking toward Honolulu across Halawa Valley.

Military officials said the concrete structure housing the old headquarters complex, built as a Navy hospital in 1941, is eligible for listing in the national register of historic buildings and will remain on the site, as the headquarters for the Marine Corps Pacific forces and will house some of the Pacific Command offices.

However, wooden extensions built later will be demolished.

The new building will be named the Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center, after World War II military leaders Adm. Chester W. Nimitz and Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

During the war, Nimitz was commander in chief in the Pacific and MacArthur was supreme commander and later commander in chief of the Southwest Pacific area, making them the first joint commanders in the Pacific.

Pacific Command officials said the new structure will have a Hawaiian-Pacific Rim architectural style like that of many buildings built here in the 1920s.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held yesterday for the new building, which will have fiber-optic communications and new energy-conservations systems. The Pacific Command said personnel should move into the building in the fall of 2003.

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