Services renovates lodging
By Master Sgt. Angelita Colón-Francia, Public Affairs
/ Published August 09, 2007
DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga., --
New carpeting, queen-size beds and flat-screen televisions are some of the upgrades that have lodgers voicing praise about the $600,000 renovation of Dobbins Inn's Bldg. 800.
"Guests are impressed with the queen-size beds," said desk clerk Kimberly McClendon, "and they love the flat-screen televisions and new furniture. It's nice getting positive comments.
"Now it seems everyone wants to stay in this building despite having to share a bathroom with a guest in an adjoining room. Some guests have been willing to give up a private bathroom for a room with a larger bed and the flat-screen television," said Ms. McClendon. "Some guests have commented, 'thank you for giving me such a nice room.'"
Non-appropriated funds generated from lodging fees paid for the renovation project that also included new paint and the replacement of carpeting, wall covering and furniture throughout the interior of the 41-room facility (made up of 38 single-rooms and three suites).
Worn wallpaper was removed and replaced by a textured acrylic wall finish that is resistant to mold and mildew.
"We work constantly to address issues that affect our guests' stay and we look for ways to enhance their level of comfort," said lodging manager Mark Ward. "We did this renovation for our customers. It also makes upkeep easier and makes it a nice place for our staff to work."
The single-rooms in Bldg. 800 are modest in size but that didn't deter Mr. Ward from maximizing each space and design rooms with comfortable, quality furnishings for guests.
Army Col. Jerome Cureton, a physician of the 177th Medical Detachment in Washington, D.C., is a first time guest at the Dobbins Inn. After checking into his room in Bldg. 800, Colonel Cureton spoke highly of his accommodations.
"It's quite nice," he said. "I can tell money and effort were put into making the room nice. Without a big cabinet, the flat-screen television takes up less space. There's a nice sitting area and a decent bed. I would stay here again."
Tech Sgt. Sonjua Williams, a Family Readiness technician assigned to the 94th Mission Support Squadron is very familiar with Bldg. 800's old accommodations and likes the improvements.
"It's much better than before. I like the paint and the fabric colors they chose," said Sergeant Williams. "I don't mind staying here."
The Dobbins Inn is one of only two lodging facilities under the Air Force Reserve Command that operates 24/7. (March Air Reserve Base in California is the command's other 24/7 lodging operation.)
The renovation of Bldg. 800 began in January and was completed five months later in time for the influx of out-of-town Reservists arriving at Dobbins for annual training. During the project the Inn's front desk reservation operations, located in the lobby, remained open. The staff worked amid the noise and dust because, according to Mr. Ward, "moving the front desk operations even temporarily to another location would have likely led to a disruption of service."
On an average unit training assembly weekend, the Dobbins Inn coordinates lodging for approximately 400 Reservists and National Guardsmen from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Inn operates 221 rooms on base and works with 12 contracted hotels in the area to lodge the overflow of lodgers.
Mr. Ward said two new lodging projects could be approved for funding later this year. One project would replace the wall coverings and carpeting throughout Bldg. 802. The other project would allow for a gut and renovation of Bldg. 801, a 78-room quarters with shared bathrooms. If that project is approved, the facility would be altered to contain 50 private rooms and baths and an elevator. If not, funding will be requested for a renovation project similar to what was completed at Bldg. 800.
Technologies like high-speed Internet and Movies on Demand will soon be available at the Dobbins Inn.
Beginning in October the Air Force Services Agency will oversee the branding and standardization of all Air Force Inns world-wide as a business practice to offer consistent products to customers at a reasonable cost. Through a series of planned renovation projects, Mr. Ward said Dobbins Services is moving toward attaining the Air Force Inns standards for all Dobbins Inn facilities.