The City of Zephyrhills recently completed a total exterior renovation of a significantly historic World War Two (WWII) Barracks located at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.
History of the Barracks
In the early 1940s, hundreds of Army fighter pilots came to Zephyrhills to hone their skills at the newly built Zephyrhills Army Airfield before going to war. Pilots received air defense tactic training flying P-51 Mustangs.
Nearly 500 men of the 10th Fighter Squadron were schooled here during the thirteen months between January 1943 and March 1944. The 10th Fighter Squadron then saw duty over Normandy during the June 1944 invasion of Europe.
Current Use of the Building
At the Zephyrhills Army Airfield, now known as Krusen Field (a city park / athletic complex), actual combat conditions were created as much as possible, even to the use of tents as barracks and support facilities to prepare the troops for actual battlefield conditions. The 40 by 100 foot infirmary building now known as the WWII Barracks was constructed at the Airfield. The building was moved to its current location at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport in 1997. The building was restored for use by the city, the airport and the community. The barracks building is now a WWII Museum and maintains a large collection of WWII artifacts, uniforms and displays. There are only a couple of these buildings left in existence, therefore it was important to the City to invest into the restoration and preservation of this building.
Over 60 years old and suffering deterioration from weather and use, the exterior of the building was beginning to show its age. In March of 2015 the City of Zephyrhills created plans and specifications to completely renovate the exterior of this historic building. The scope of the project was to renovate the complete exterior of the building using modern maintenance friendly materials while still maintaining the historic integrity and appearance of the building. The renovation project was completed on-time and under budget in the fall of 2015 utilizing local contractors and historic renovation experts.