Airport to keep USO lounge

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USO at Lindbergh FieldSAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors unanimously approved a lease agreement Thursday to keep a USO lounge at Lindbergh Field.

At a special meeting, the board agreed to a 10-year lease with the USO Council of San Diego. The organization that assists members of the military will hold an option to renew for a second decade.

The USO Neil Ash Center is located in a nearly 5,600-square-foot temporary space in Terminal 2. Part of the plans for the massive renovation and expansion under way at the terminal is to increase the size of the lounge to more than 8,800 square feet, plus an 18,000-square-foot courtyard.

According to the organization, around 120,000 armed services members and their families annually use the lounge, which is open from 6 a.m. to midnight every day of the year.

The center welcomes home returning troops, hosts recruits coming to San Diego and military members leaving on deployment, offers Internet and printing services, and provides complimentary snacks and beverages.

Under terms of the proposed agreement, the USO will rent the space for $1 per year and pay for its own furnishings and operations.