News: Multipurpose room open for business
Story by Keith Hayes
BARSTOW, Calif. - A large multipurpose room at the Hobby Shop has opened its doors aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow.
About 30 people turned out Feb. 10 to watch as Maj. Jason L. Kendall, executive officer, MCLB Barstow, cut the red ribbon on the front doors of the new 1,800 square foot multipurpose room at the Hobby Shop building 375.
Kendall explained that the room has many uses and possibilities, such as a place the family can gather if they’re waiting for someone to finish up at the wood or auto shop.
“If someone is changing the oil in the car, the family can come here to have a place to hang out,” Kendall said.
Julie Wilbanks, the director of Marine Corps Family Team Building, who oversaw the conversion of the former ceramic hobby shop in to the multipurpose room, said the large space gives all departments and divisions aboard base more flexibility in meeting and training.
“There’s a Smart Board in here; there are two 52-inch monitors in here,” Wilbanks said. “There’s also a printer in here so that you can print what you write on the Smart Board.
“A smart board is a white board which can project Power Point presentations; you can write on it just like it was a normal white board but you can print what you put on it so you pass that out if you need that, or you can just erase it and move on,” she said.
The facility also boasts a huge chess board on interlocking black and white rubber mats that was being enthusiastically man-handled by several small children participating in an every-other-week “play date” that is usually held at the Desert View Housing Community Center aboard base.
Lake Charles, La., native Katie Mallett, whose husband works for Fleet Support Division aboard the Yermo Annex of MCLB Barstow, said she prefers the multipurpose room for the play dates for her son rather than the smaller community center at base housing.
“My son is at the age where he needs to interact with other kids and this is good for his development.”
“He doesn’t go to [Child Development Center] so he doesn’t see as many kids, so these once every-other-week play dates really help him out,” Mallett said. “[The room] has more of the soft padded gym-like mats in the play area and more toys to play with.”
Michelle Lawing, born in Okinawa, Japan, and the civilian victim advocate with Marine Corps Programs Division, said the new facility had a lot of potential for seminars and training.
“I’m looking at the room as more a place to put on presentations that I might do so I can use their [computer] system as a way to bring people together,” Lawing said.
The multipurpose room also has a small kitchen space with a toaster oven and refrigerator.
Wilbanks explained when the space gets some use they’ll get a better idea of how to improve it.
“Once we assess the needs of the people using it we can put in an oven or carpet,” she said.
“This is open for anybody aboard base; for an office function, an office training session or any kind of meeting that you might want to have,” Wilbanks said.
“You could even host an office luncheon here. You’d have to bring it all in, but it would all be in one place with plenty of room,” she concluded.