MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The days of floor fans circulating hot air throughout the 1940s-era Goettge Memorial Field House are over.
For the next nine months, it will be undergoing much-needed extensive renovations that are aimed at literally cooling anyone off who steps foot inside the facility.
Though closed to the general public until January next year, the field house will reopen in October, on a limited basis, just in time for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball season and holiday parties.
The renovation includes heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Starting on Jan. 14, Beaufort, N.C. – based Mech Works, Inc. will begin the $1.2 million project. At its end state, the project will feature four maintenance rooms in each of the four corners in the seating level to house the air handlers which will turn water into cool air. Additionally, visible porous ducts will allow that cool air to circulate throughout the building. The project also includes high-efficiency floor lighting and a chiller pad permanently installed the between the field house and the softball field, to operate the new HVAC system.
Originally planned in 2004, the renovations, will also upgrade the facility’s floor heating levels to prevent hot air rising, making the upper-level seating more comfortable. The changes will allow that air to be re-circulated and evenly distributed throughout the building.
Joel Roberts, a construction manager with Officer in Charge of Construction, Marine Corps Installations East and site supervisor for the project, said the project’s duration is dependent upon the facility itself. In other words,the layout has posed some challenges.
“This place was a hot box for a long time,” said Roberts. “The biggest challenge the construction workers faced was getting the lifts inside. From the floor to the ceiling, it’s about 50 to 60 feet. So, we’ll have to utilize the gym floor to build and utilize scaffolds for the duration of the project.”
Roberts added the closure of the gym floor was the only way for this project to get done.
Mark Beuning, a mechanical engineer with Designs Branch, Public Works Division, MCB Camp Lejeune, designed the plans for the new HVAC system and said the renovations will also include upgrading equipment to current technology.
“What we are doing is designed not only to cool the building and increase the heating capabilities in the facility, but we are also going to make the building a safer work environment for base employees,” said Beuning.
These upgrades will replace obsolete equipment thus decreasing maintenance costs that usually come along with it.
“This new system will be a demand-controlled ventilation system,” said Beuning. “Depending on the carbon dioxide levels in the field house, that will allow the appropriate amount of ventilation to come in the building.”
Though the construction shuts down everyday use of the facility for service members and units, Marine Corps Community Services wants to stress that its administrative, Outdoor Adventures and Sports Branch offices will remain open throughout the process.
In an e-mail to The Globe and on its Facebook page, MCCS encourages anyone visiting the offices to do so by using the main parking lot and entering through the north entrance of the Goettge Memorial Field House facing Holcomb Boulevard.