Mongrels, defenders revamp dorm
By Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 24, 2013
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Bldg. 1436, home to members of the 51st Security Forces Squadron, underwent a complete transformation, Oct. 23, thanks to the "Worst Dorm First" program and some old-fashioned elbow grease.
Designed by Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Jones, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron chief, the initiative has now been used in two Airman dorm renovations, with hopes to continue until every dorm at Osan has been updated.
Tech. Sgt. Taylor Vandenboogaard, 51st CES airman dorm leader supervisor, said the name of the program says it all.
"We tested the idea out on the 51st CES dorm to see what a group of people could realistically accomplish in one day," Vandenboogaard said. "Due to our success in the trial run, we decided to implement the program in NCO and Airman dorms across the base."
"Worst Dorm First" involves completely refurbishing an entire building in one day, with the majority of the group made up of residents of that particular dorm. Ninety residents of Bldg. 1436 were led by 15 members of the 51st CES Structures shop for this wave of the program.
The group had no shortage of work. A volleyball court and patio area were built behind the dorm using two pallets of bricks, 28 windows were re-screened, the dayrooms were refurbished, five pallets of lava rocks were used to create rock beds to enhance the landscaping and the entire interior was re-painted.
"It's nice for people who live in the dorm because they get to come home to a nicer place," said Senior Airman Robert Grullon, 51st SFS entry controller.
With the average age of an Osan dorm exceeding 20 years, Vandenboogaard said he hopes this program will help the buildings last for even more years to come.
"I think it's great because the residents are personally invested in the transformation," Vandenboogaard said. "It definitely creates that pride of ownership."
"Worst Dorm First" will continue to renovate one dorm per month, alternating between NCO and Airman dorms. The next building in line for updating has not yet been determined.