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Residents adjust as dorm renovations begin

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Starting with 11 rooms, renovations have begun on the dormitories on Patrick AFB.
Each room is to get fresh paint, carpet, bathroom fixtures, "the whole nine yards," said Tech. Sgt. Spellman LeBlanc, dorm manager, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron.
"The dorms were last renovated in 1996," said Sergeant LeBlanc, "by our standards, they're outdated."

The work is estimated to last approximately two weeks for the first batch of rooms, with three to four months earmarked to renovate the three dormitory buildings still operated by the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron. The fourth building is now under the 45th Services Division and is slated for use as visiting officers' quarters.

In addition to new fixtures, some rooms are to be expanded into suites. Currently the rooms are arranged in a 1+1 layout, with two occupants having separate living quarters but sharing a bathroom. After the renovations are complete, some occupants will have the entire space. These expanded rooms are to be occupied by the more senior dorm residents.

The room expansions are not just to improve the quality of life of the 130 dorm residents. Air Force policy requires dorms to have at least 90 percent occupancy, and Patrick's dorms are currently below that rate, said Sergeant LeBlanc, so the number of rooms is being reduced.

At this time there are no plans to overhaul the dayrooms in the dormitory buildings, however Sergeant LeBlanc said the Dorm Council has moved ahead with plans to acquire and install new entertainment equipment such as televisions, pool tables, etc.
Staff Sgt. Karlos Hudson of the 45th Mission Support Squadron is one of the residents who had to change rooms to allow contractors to start work, but he doesn't mind. "It's no different than having an apartment renovated, as long as they give you a place to live," he said.