MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marston Pavilion, located on Seth Williams Boulevard aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, is being renovated to better suit the catering needs and events held by various personnel aboard the base.
“We plan on hosting all the same things we have been hosting, just at a higher level of quality,” said Lori Davidson, Marston Pavilion facility manager. “It’s still a work in progress though. It will be clean, new and fresh.”
Once completed, various units and personnel aboard the base can continue to host family days, pre-deployment briefs, balls and parties using the pavilion’s two ballrooms - the Betio and the Tinian.
The pavilion has been used to host weddings in the past, but now brides will have access to a newly added bridal suite, which is connected to the women’s bathroom. A concierge will greet visitors at the front door and help guests with directions to their event.
A modern “Marston Pavilion” sign with ambient lights, which will be featured at the entrance, will also welcome visitors.
Melissa Kenward, marketing specialist with Marine Corps Community Services, said patrons will be excited about the new changes at the pavilion.
“It’s not the same casual place as it was before,” said Kenward. “It’s more of an elegant ambiance that I think folks will be very surprised to see.”
Davidson added that patrons used to be able to tape things on the walls and bring in confetti, hay and straw for a number of events hosted at the pavilion.
“We’re asking patrons to reconsider, to rise to the occasion and treat this like you would someone’s esteemed home of which you want to take the best care possible,” said Davidson.
Renovations, remodeling, installations, collateral equipment and exterior landscaping are estimated to exceed $3.5 million for the project, which began after Jan. 1, said Melissa Kenward, marketing manager with Marine Corps Community Services.
“I think it’s nice because you have so many antique buildings on the base, and this one is going to be totally modern and have a different level of class,” said Kenward.
Kenward added that Clubs and Catering plays an integral role in helping Marston Pavilion’s visitors have fond memories of special events. They serve food, set up and clean after each ceremony.
“You can still have fun, you can still enjoy it and you can have a more beautiful event,” said Davidson. “You just need to take care of the new surroundings. It’s not just a renovation. I think the people who use it will enjoy it so much more. It’s nice to have something like this to use at your disposal. I think people will feel good about it.”
Pearl Harrell, a custodian with Clubs and Catering, said she has been working at Marston Pavilion for nine years and said she is happy to see the renovations take place.
“(Before the renovations), it was really bad,” said Harrell. “Now, it is just gorgeous, beautiful. I’m definitely proud of it.”
Joseph Walbert, director of Facilities and Maintenance Division, MCCS, said Marston Pavilion is expected to be completed by November 2010. The facility will then reopen to all active-duty, retired and reserve military members, their families and Department of Defense personnel.
Marston Pavilion is now taking reservations for the 2011 Marine Corps birthday balls.
For more information about bookings and reservations at Marston Pavilion, call 451-8224, ext. 247.