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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Mess Hall 82 sits near the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Movie Theater and is currently under construction, Jan 28. Mess Hall 82 is one of many new dining facilities currently being built that will replace the World War II-era ones.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Victor Barrera

Mess halls moving into the 21st century

16 Jan 2011 | Lance Cpl. Victor Barrera

Camp Lejeune is currently in the process of replacing many of the World War II-era mess halls with new, modern, college-style ones. Additionally many of the new dining facilities will now have features that none of the previous ones had.

Already, Mess Hall 122 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, has been shut down and is being demolished; Marines who went there for chow time can now go to the Wallace Creek facility. The dining facility that is currently being built on A Street will not be replacing 122, instead the Marines who use that facility frequently, will be moving to the new Wallace Creek Regimental Facility.

“We’re also planning on shutting down Mess Halls 9 and 211, which are nearly throwing distance from each other and replacing them with a new two-story facility, Mess Hall 82,” said Charles Cone, the base food service officer with Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “The new two-story building will have a lot more to offer.”

Mess Hall 82 will be equipped with a kitchen, salad bar, bakery area, two dining areas, four serving lines and an elevator leading up to the second floor, which will have its very own Mongolian-style grill.

Also, behind the scenes, the buildings will all be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified. Technology such as the solar-powered water heaters is one of the many reasons why the new mess halls are more energy efficient, which gives them high grades in LEED certification.

“One of our building is Gold LEED certified,” said Cone. “All our other mess halls are Silver LEED certified.”

Cone also stated that dining facilities have come a long way from when he was in the military, and not just the design, but the food served there as well.

“Back in my day, we got a scoop of meat, rice, a slice of white bread, milk and something we called bug juice,” said Cone. “Now these Marines have it good, they have extreme burritos, the sub program, pizzas and extended breakfasts.”

Although the mess halls are improving, sizes are staying relatively the same. Even with elevators and televisions the new mess halls will work more efficiently and provide the same, if not better food quality services to service members.

“These new mess halls will be state-of-the-art,” said Cone. “They will feed our service members and at the same time being energy resourceful.”