PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The multi-billion-dollar Tyndall Air Force Base rebuild is starting to take shape.
The Bay Defense Alliance gave members of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance a peek Wednesday at some of the plans.
When the eye of Hurricane Michael passed over Tyndall Air Force Base, all 700 of the base’s buildings were either damaged or destroyed.
Military officials said they are going to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“The wind loads are extremely high,” Bay Defense Alliance President Tom Neubauer said. “The elevations of the buildings are very high and the base is designed to be very very efficient both from an energy perspective and from a manpower perspective.”
Most of the work since the storm has been demolition and preparation in nature but new construction is about to explode.
“We’re going to see the base grow very rapidly over the next few years,” Neubauer said. “We’ll see over 3,500 construction workers working across the base. Over 44 military construction projects will be underway over the next 3 or 4 years and we are very well orchestrated to make it the base of the future.”
There will be 120 new military facilities on base, like hangars and dormitories, a child development center, and a chapel.
There are also going to be 550 single-family homes.
Tyndall is responsible for more than $3.1 billion in annual economic impact in Bay County, and more than 30,000 jobs.
“Defense in Bay County represents about 34% of our economy,” Neubauer said. ‘And if you watch cars drive by and see the stickers on their windows, you’ll realize that’s a huge part of our community and we’re very fortunate to have the rebuild of Tyndall Air Force Base driving our economy right now.”
The first of three F-35 fighter squadrons will arrive at Tyndall in the fall of 2023.