Even as the number of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases identified in the United States and around the world continues to increase, the reconstruction on the Leonard B. Francis Readiness Center on St. Thomas is on target to meet its deadline in November 2020.
After extensive damage sustained by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created projects valued at $22 million to support the restoration of facilities for the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING).
“The team remains highly encouraged and engaged with finishing this project that started in January 2019,” said Maj. Lionel Eddy, project officer. “With only a few months near the deadline, we have made immense strides in realigning the building structure and are focused on configuring the bathrooms, the Distance Learning Center, and the studio for the 73rd Army Band.”
Numerous changes are being made to the facility. Cement board with Edge Guard was used to decrease mold contamination and increase personnel efficiency. Moreover, a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) was incorporated into the facility to make the 786th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion functional as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Safety is the number one priority. Soldiers remain in the frontlines for mission support tasks mandated by the “stay at home order,” which started in March. The on-going construction incorporates a system of daily status checks to include the wearing of the proper personal equipment to deter the spread of COVID-19.
VING continues to offer better conditions for guardsmen, veterans, and the community in which we serve.
For information on the virus, visit the USVI Department of Health’s website: www.doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to 888777. #COVID19USVI