Hawaii Weekly, 5 December 2008
25th CAB gives Outdoor Recreation Center a much-needed makeover
By Molly Hayden Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — A fresh coat of paint made a big difference at the Outdoor Recreation Center (ODR) here, recently.
Dressed in jeans and paint-splattered T-shirts, six Soldiers from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade cleaned, trimmed and painted the walls inside the nearly 4,000 square-foot building.
“This whole space was covered with mold yesterday,” said Spc. Gary Ingram, leaning against a freshly dried and newly painted wall. “We had to clean it up before we started painting, but now you can’t even tell.”
The volunteer effort from the group of Soldiers came at a time when the staff at ODR needed it most.
ODR had recently received a bid for more than $100,000 to complete the much-needed renovation project.
However, the bid was significantly outside the center’s budget.
“We weren’t sure how we were going to do it,” said Shelly Leslie, outdoor recreation branch chief, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “But these guys stepped up and rescued us.”
For four straight days, Soldiers worked emphatically to make over the center.
“It’s the benefit of giving back to the community,” said Pfc. Chase Rall. “And showing that we care.”
Soldiers scraped old paint, taped off walls, and applied a fresh coat. Employees stepped over numerous supplies lining the walkway, including paint buckets and rollers, and continued business as usual.
“It’s great to see the impact the new building makes,” said Spc. Preston Newbell. “The work effort has been great and everyone can enjoy the new look.”
The team at ODR made sure the Soldiers were well taken care of during the process, providing them with all of the necessary tools to get the job done. Morale was high as the Soldiers smiled, joked and chatted with the staff as they worked.
“They have been a great help and have earned a hefty credit for their unit,” said Leslie. “Everyone benefits from this.”
The eye-catching new look coincides with the new programs and changes currently taking place at ODR.
Within the past few months, new classes, including stand-up paddling, surfing and kayaking, have been added at the center.
“Our classes are slowly taking off,” said Leslie. “I think more and more people are taking advantage of all the things we have to offer.”
ODR provides outdoor recreation and educational opportunities to the military ohana, as well as all equipment necessary to take advantage of Hawaii’s natural splendor.
ODR also offers a full line of rental equipment designed for beach-goers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts, including tents, stoves, coolers, lanterns, surfboards, boogie boards, bicycles, picnic canopies, various sports equipment, kayaks and canoes. All equipment is available at a low daily rate.
For more festive affairs, the center rents shave ice and cotton candy machines, a dunk tank and inflatable bounce house.
As the workday ended, the Soldiers stood around, soaking up the new look and reflecting on their hard work.
“It’s more than just a fresh coat of paint,” said Newbell. “It’s a work of art.”