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Brig. Gen. Robert Castellvi speaks to attendees during his first town hall meeting at the Russell Marine and Family Services center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Aug. 22.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Base CG holds first town hall meeting

22 Aug 2013 | Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Dozens of spouses and residents attended Brig. Gen. Robert Castellvi’s first town hall meeting at the Russell Marine and Family Service Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Aug. 22 to get answers and express concerns to leaders of the base.


“It’s a chance for me as a base commander and Marine Corps Installations East commander, along with my staff, to really communicate directly with the Marines and families of the base and give them a snapshot of what this installation does,” said Castellvi.


Topics covered at the town hall meeting ranged from ongoing construction, road work, fitness center construction and renovations, pathway closures, family housing and barracks renovations.


Castellvi and his staff briefed the audience on scheduled completion dates for many projects across the base including the roadway connecting Holcomb Boulevard to Lejeune Boulevard and the final finishes on the Wallace Creek Fitness Center set to open in October.


Dr. Alridge Boone, superintendent of Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River schools, spoke about furlough effects on schools, construction and the upcoming school year. Navy Capt. David Lane, commanding officer of Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, spoke about renovations at the hospital. Lane added the hospital will be accepting 9,000 new primary care patients to allow families easier access to medical facilities.


“I think one of the major concerns voiced was, are we as an installation and a Corps going to be able to keep faith in providing for our Marines and families during a fiscal cliff and sequestration,” said Castellvi. “I think everyone came out of here with an understanding and appreciation of the sincere commitment we have on this base for taking care of people.”


Due to vast construction across the base, families were concerned about the closures of many running and bike paths across the base.


Mary English, a military spouse, voiced her concerns over pathway closures. She said she uses the pathways at least five or six times a week taking her children to and from school, but due to the closures she hasn’t been able to.


“I want to be able to ride my bike,” said English. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to until next year, but the Wallace Creek Multipurpose Trail is actually slated to open in September.”


English added coming to the town hall meeting she wasn’t expecting things to change, but after hearing the briefs and expressing her concerns, she found the answers she was looking for.


“These events are great for the community because you can actually come and voice your opinions and get an answer,” said English.


Castellvi said he was pleased with how the town hall meeting went and he would like to make the event quarterly.


The full video of the meeting is viewable on our website, Facebook and Google+ pages.

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