CAMP RED CLOUD -- Camp Casey's newly revamped bowling center has reopened with a pirate-themed look and other changes that have transformed it from a routine bowling alley to a fun place not only for hardcore bowlers but for families and youngsters too.

The center, which closed last September for a stem-to-stern overhaul, held a grand reopening Aug. 17 that drew Area I community members in their hundreds, eager for a look at the good-as-new facility.

The center, in bldg. 3014, is now called the Casey Buccaneer Bowling Center. Its spacious, glittering interior evokes the Pirates of the Caribbean.

"This facility is absolutely wonderful," said Capt. Brad Criswell, of the 2nd Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 70th Brigade Support Battalion, part of the 210th Fires Brigade. "We are always looking for new things for my family, especially for our children to do."

The center's entrance mimics the deck of a pirate ship, right down to a plank floor and ship's masts. A big mural depicts a pirate ship with its cannons firing. Another mural shows a castle on a cliff.

The lanes themselves have been made to look like water, an effect achieved through a combination of lighting and a special overlay on the flooring of the lanes themselves.

There's a bar with an area set aside for those who want to play Texas Hold 'Em poker or use the slot machines. Only those 18 and older will be admitted to that part of the center.

There's also a separate TV-theater room with a 60-inch flat-screen monitor with 3D capability.

An X-box will be installed there in the near future, and the entire center will soon have Wi-Fi, allowing patrons to get on the Internet.

In deciding on the pirate theme, officials of the U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I looked for a way to make the bowling center appeal to both Soldiers and family members, one of the officials, David Roudybush, said in an interview with the Morning Calm last fall.

Roudybush at the time was chief of business operations with USAG Red Cloud and Area I's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

"We have to balance having a place where Soldiers can go and feel comfortable, and at the same time where families can go and be comfortable," Roudybush said at the time.

"We're theming it as a pirate's cove -- almost a Pirates of the Caribbean theme -- because we know that's popular with both children and adults," Roudybush said.

"So during the daytime we can do the more kiddish-type pirate stuff -- the Captain Hook, Peter Pan. And during the evening we can go more toward the Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow theme," he said.

"Just based off of that goal I think they accomplished it," Criswell said. "I felt it was definitely a place I could take my family and not be concerned they wouldn't be entertained or that perhaps it was too adult an atmosphere.

"It was definitely very cool," said Criswell. "I noticed they have the poker room in the back. Looks like it would be fun for the Soldiers."

At the same time, said Criswell, "If I was to just to go by myself I think I would have a good time and I think a lot of Soldiers would too. I think it's gonna be a great thing for both the Soldiers and families."