By Mr. Gail Anderson (USARC)February 2, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. - Amidst hallways lined with packed boxes and empty wall lockers, Soldiers of the 81st Regional Support Command Soldier Readiness Processing team began moving into their new home on Monday, January 24.
Formerly, the SRP team called building 13000, on Jackson Boulevard, "home." Ever since they first moved in, in October of 2009, the SRP team had been operating out of cramped and oft times restrictive workspaces. The newly renovated Army Reserve center, on Sumter Avenue, now eliminates that problem and provides them an environment more conducive to professional operations while also providing a more permanent place to hang their hats.
The move from their old building into the new one took about a week and the team encountered only a few minor hiccups before completing the move on Jan. 28. Just in time for their next group - a group of 131 Soldiers from North Carolina -the first Soldiers to be processed through the new facility, on Jan. 31.
Sgt. 1st Class Adonis Pendleton, a security NCO for the SRP team said "I love it here," speaking about the recently refurbished building. "Just a little tweaking here and there and we'll have all the bugs worked out [of adjusting to the new offices]. We'll find out if everything's going to work out alright when the new Soldiers come in on Monday [Jan. 31]."
Pendleton added, "So far, things are much better. They've included a little workout area for us, we have showers with small locker rooms and there's even street lockers outside in the halls for the Soldiers to use now...this is a much better upgrade from what we've had in the past."
Staff Sgt. Ursula Smith, an administration clerk, added that she likes the new offices because "I think it's easier for the staff and for the Soldiers [who will use the facility] because we no longer have to set things up on Tuesday just to turn around and break everything down on Thursday."
Pendleton said that to the best of his knowledge, the Department of Public Works practically 'gutted' the building and started renovating almost from 'scratch.'
Fermin Borrero, from the 81st Regional Support Command, confirms this adding that "on the whole, Fort Jackson's DPW spent approximately $4.2 million dollars on the renovation project, with about $300 thousand dollars of that amount being contributed by the 81st RSC's DPW."
"The money contributed by the 81st was for upgraded improvements like doors and windows," said Borrero.
Formerly, building 2179 housed the old mobilization site for Fort Jackson and was also home to one or two other small units.
But the 81st RSC SRP team is not the only tenants to occupy the newly refurbished spaces. Now, the building is also shared with Soldiers from the 208th Readiness Support Group, the 75th Training Division and some contractors.
The 81st RSC SRP team's commander, Lt. Col. Gayle Scott, is excited about her team's new digs and is very appreciative of their work environment.
"It's been a long time coming, and it's been a journey, but it's a whole lot better than where we've come from. It's nice to have an area that you know is yours. Just knowing that you have a permanent spot to lay your stuff and not worry about it moving, and not having to move things every day. Before, we had to put our things in a closet every day and take them back out the next [day]. Now we can just leave everything where it is and when the Soldiers come in, they're just coming through - everything is already in place for them."
Scott said that if she could say anything to the people responsible for making this renovation happen it would be "thank you."
"Thank you, because we have a home now. I don't know how long this mission [of SRP] is going to last but as long as it does, we now know that we have a place that we don't have to pack it up tonight and put it away into a closet until tomorrow. So, for that, we're grateful."