Bachelor Marines and sailors aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii are slated to begin moving into their recently renovated barracks, which were not scheduled to be done until 2010.
Marines and sailors were displaced from their normal quarters in order to expedite renovations and ensure adequate housing for Marines and sailors already aboard base as well as those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The first barracks is scheduled to open Oct. 18, for Marine Corps Base Hawaii Marines and sailors with remaining barracks to open soon thereafter.
The renovations are ahead of schedule and what once seemed like challenging timelines are now complete several months early, said Mark Houston, project superintendent, Sumo Nan Joint Venture.
“We’re doing very good time wise,” he said. “We’re almost ready for [Marines] to move in – the boys are coming home.”
“It was really a smooth evolution,” Houston explained. “At first the project completion date was Feb. 2010. But, everybody came together and we were able to finish months ahead of the initial deadline.”
Houston said the Marines and sailors who previously resided there really helped facilitate the renovations by moving out entirely. Their sacrifices and cooperation during the last few months allowed the contractors to move about freely and renovate the entire building versus going floor by floor.
The Marines weren’t the only ones who went out of their way, with such a close deadline everyone involved from construction workers to safety inspectors, had to work together in order to meet the deadline, Houston added.
Sergeant Maj. James Futrell, sergeant major, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, said ensuring Marines have safe, habitable barracks they’re proud to call home is extremely important to him and the [MarForPac] commanding general.
“It is of the utmost importance to the commanding general and I that no Marine returns from combat to sub-standard living conditions,” he said. “It is going to take some time to upgrade the current living conditions … with this in mind I ask your patience in these upcoming moves.”
The primary focus of the recent renovations were safety oriented, ensuring proper fire protection like smoke detectors and sprinklers were up date, said Steve Butala, a mechanical engineer with facilities department.
Other initiatives scheduled for completion were repainting each room, installing new showerheads, and completely cleaning all of the rooms, he added.
“The best part is having the rooms ready for the Marines coming home,” said Houston. “Support the troops – I think that’s everyone’s philosophy here, and we’re doing our best to show it.”