SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In an effort to make room for larger areas to host professional development classes, a team led by the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron spent the past six months renovating Rockwell Hall, which officially re-opened June 20.
Rockwell Hall, which is Bldg. 1930 and located near the Library Auditorium/Bowling Center areas, is available for use by not only units within the 375th Air Mobility Wing, but also Team Scott as well.
“The hall will help [develop] leaders and leadership traits in our forces,” said Capt. Clay Chaffin, 375th LRS project officer. “From enlisted to officers to civilians, [it] will focus on providing the entire installation a way forward in developing a more disciplined, educated, and professional [force].”
Professional development courses were previously held at several smaller, sometimes improvised locations around base.
Lt. Col. Kazimir Kostrubala, 375th LRS commander who also leads the wing’s champion for force Airmen development, said there’s a need for training and developing 1,733 Airmen annually and that the new hall will help fill the need for larger classrooms
The new hall will be able to hold up to 100 students, and the centralized space could potentially host 17,000 students in 45 courses annually.
Chaffin explained that these professional development courses used to be scattered all across base.
“One week, you would see a course held at the satellite pharmacy. The next, it would be at the education center. Now, all courses are placed together in a room that can hold almost three times the amount of people [as] the education center if that is needed,” he said.
Chaffin said that initially the project did not seem possible and has been a challenge, but thanks to the assists from the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron, and the 375th Communications Group, it all came together, with a few more minor issues to be fixed before they call it 100 percent done.
His team tackled wallpaper peeling from the walls, the bathrooms being inoperable, the lighting, vents and ceiling tiles that were “beyond moldy,” and fire code requirements to name just a few.
“No one really thought Rockwell Hall stood a chance,” he said.
However, Kostrubala said the project is “a testament to persistence and innovation.”
“We did just about everything at the grassroots level and just kept after it,” he said. “We didn’t give up. Our team ate the elephant one bite at a time, and we began to see progress.”
Six months and $21,000 later, the hall is ready as the base’s newest professional development center, hosting its first course immediately following the grand opening ceremony.