U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll Commander Col. Tom Pugsley thanked the many personnel from the Department of Public Works for their support in completing the Emon Beach main pavilion refurbishment project April 16, ahead of schedule.
“I am excited about it” Pugsley said. It’s going to get utilized for the first time for the high school graduation coming up next month.”
Public Works crews worked for more than 11 weeks to ensure the facility was ready by April 18 before the Kwajalein High School commencement exercises. They would ultimately finish two days ahead of schedule with zero injuries.
“I really appreciate all the hard work you did at Emon,” Pugsley said, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the pavilion. “As you know, Emon Beach pavilion is probably the most utilized resource on the island. Thank you, on behalf of the garrison, for all your hard work. I really do appreciate you. We look forward to many more projects like this coming up in the future.”
The project engaged the expertise of every shop in Public Works, said DPW supervisor Matthew Grubel. Major sections of the facility were deconstructed and laid flat. Construction included the fabrication of the pavilion snack bar and its new countertops, as well as the roof covering the snack bar area. Next, after significant repairs, personnel from the Metal Shop and Heavy Equipment teams, supervised by Kelly Welchlin and James Chong-Gum, respectively, re-erected the main structure and its new roof—a significant moment in the project.
Paint crews worked both on and offsite to perform corrosion control and touch-ups on newly painted surfaces to extend the longevity of the repaired metal, Grubel said. The electrical team worked to update vintage systems to meet modern construction standards, and the plumbing team installed a new snack bar sink.
“Our electricians did a phenomenal job, rewiring the bulking to better standards and specifications,” Grubel said. “We had every department of DPW come together and just really orchestrate itself as a wonderful working team.”
Coordinating the flow of activity, team leaders helped assure safety on the worksite. Grubel credits DPW supervisor Clint Easton as “a very instrumental person” to helping DPW teams work together and meet their mission for the Army efficiently and without injury.
“It was wonderful to have him out on top, leading us through the project. Clint was personally involved in supporting the workers—every single person—every day,” Grubel said.
USAG-KA Department of Public Works Director Derek Miller recognized the colossal effort to build new purlins, or roof support beams, and to rebuild the pavilion’s original columns and structure. He appreciated the significant contributions and talents of USAG-KA engineers and the Heavy Equipment team and the Metal Shop crew for their work on the project.
“This project is a capstone project for LOGCAP IV, which will greatly benefit the Kwajalein community,” said Miller. “The project proved repairability of degraded metal structures, so we’ll be considering repairs rather than replacements of similar metal structures in the future. This approach saved costs and time as well as the unique architecture.”
“We’re really proud of our guys,” Grubel said. “A lot of guys gave up their weekends, free time with families, to accomplish this. … They followed safety procedures. When you look at the monolithic size of the project, it’s wonderful to be able to claim no injuries and to have it completed ahead of schedule. … My thanks go out to the hardworking DPW men—especially the RMI—and their counterparts, the expats."