Photo Information

Col. Daniel Lecce (far left), commanding officer of Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, cuts the ribbon marking the re-opening of Marston Pavilion aboard the base alongside the rest of the official party, Feb. 3. Following two years and more than $3 million, the pavilion was all but torn down and rebuilt, completely renovating and refurbishing the event center.

Photo by Cpl. Joanthan G. Wright

Ribbon-cutting marks Marston re-opening

3 Feb 2011 | Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

In 1945, Marston Pavilion, one of the base’s multiple event facilities, was constructed and opened to a wide variety of occasions for many years to follow. However, with the multitude of subsequent wars and base expansions, funding for the upkeep and maintenance for the pavilion was lacking. A gradual degradation of quality and use for the facility which extended into the 2000s.

It was only until recently that the historic building was put in for renovation – not by Extreme Makovers: Home Edition, but by the unprecedented $3.5 billion renovation/expansion budget in action on base over the past few years. As a result of the $3,531,983 project, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the re-opening of the new and improved Marston Pavilion, Feb. 3.

 “Last year, (Marston Pavilion) was used as the Halloween haunted house, its condition was so bad,” said Col. Daniel Lecce, commanding officer of MCB Camp Lejeune. “It’s made a true transformation into the four-star-type facility you see today. The number of people involved in making this all happen is only rivaled by all the (Interactive Customer Evaluation) comments we received about its prior condition.”

Short of tearing the pavilion down and rebuilding anew, nearly everything about the building has been brought back to its impressive original condition – as well as some new additions.

“We’ve added a bridal room for weddings which might be held here, made the entrance accessible to handicapped patrons and installed a new state-of-the-art audio and visual system,” said Lori Davidson, manager of Marston Pavilion. “Overall it’s been a great, well-rounded project that far exceeded expectations of the finished product.”

The building project was divided into three main parts; the lobby, the Tinian Room as the right wing and the Batio Room as the left, each section being worked on separately as the other two made up the available space. A section of the roof was replaced, the insides were gutted so far as to replace the walls, landscaping and the parking lot were also redone. Additionally, a new events sign sits at the entrance of the pavilion’s parking lot; a digital marquee apart from the original readerboard.

“This was truly a team effort, and the finished result speaks volumes about the people involved,” said Lecce.

For more information about Marston Pavilion and upcoming events, visit the pavilion website at or call 451-8224.