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Holbrook renovations complete at Fort Stewart

Feb 25, 2010

By Bob Mathews, Fort Stewart DFMWR Marketing Publicity Specialist

FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Extensive renovation work at Holbrook Pond Recreation Area and the Outdoor Recreation Center at Fort Stewart is complete, and the facility stands willing and able to serve Soldiers, their Families and others who like the idea of "getting away from it all and enjoying the great outdoors."

In remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 17, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General-Rear, called Holbrook "a great facility."

"It is another expression on behalf of our Army, our Division and our installation in support of our Families, Soldiers, Army Civilians and those who work with us," he continued.

He asked the audience to "Think of the word 'recreation,' to re-create, to give us back our strengths, to give us back our composure, to allow us to go back out and engage the world."

Brigadier General Phillips praised those who had made the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility and its extensive renovation possible, pointing out that such a place "Doesn't come free, it doesn't come without effort. It doesn't come without thought, and it doesn't come without heart."

Sergeant 1st Class William W. Powers of 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, has a pop-up camper and a boat stored at the Holbrook facility, and when the weather is nice, he'll stay there in the camper.

"This is an awesome facility," he said. "The people are very hospitable, and they look out for one another. It is very secure. It is a good place to stay."

Sergeant 1st Class Powers said his wife, Meriah, and four daughters live in Dawsonville, Ga., and he commutes every weekend to visit them. His daughters - Emalee, 15, Bailey, 11, Devyn, 9, and Ryleigh, 2 - were with him while school was out and joined him for the grand opening and the food afterward.

The sun was shining brightly for the mid-morning ceremony. The temperature was in the chilly mid-40s.

The Grand Opening celebrated completion of the $750,000 renovation and facelift at the Outdoor Recreation Center. The spacious center, in building 8325, has a new exterior façade and entrance, an expanded classroom area, enclosed maintenance shop and paved parking lot.

Immediately after the ribbon-cutting, Susan Chipple, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor and Recreation Specialist, gave dignitaries and other guests a tour of the Center, the hub for programs and educational opportunities at Holbrook. Equipment is available for checkout to support all types of outdoor recreation activities.

Also being celebrated was completion of a $750,000 upgrade on the north side of the Holbrook Pond Recreation Area. The work included a large pavilion and three smaller picnic shelters, all screened and with lights and ceiling fans. The project also included an environmentally friendly restroom, floating dock, fishing pier, four playground structures, basketball and volleyball courts, a walking trail and paved parking.

A brightly decorated buffet table with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and hors d'oeuvres greeted guests who visited the large pavilion following the ribbon-cutting. BOSS representatives played a pickup basketball game on the new court adjacent to the pavilion. Other BOSS representatives were on hand to give demonstrations of equipment available through Holbrook.

Also among the guests were retired Navy petty officer Marion "Butch" Maione and his wife, Cindy, of Jamestown, N.Y. Their motor home will be parked at a Holbrook site for two months as they explore and tour this area. The couple stayed at Holbrook last year and plan to return next year.

Plans are underway to construct a paintball complex for the Holbrook Pond Recreation Area.

The Holbrook Outdoor Recreation Area, consisting of the Center, Skeet and Trap Range, Picnic Area and Campground, was built in 1979. The south shore offers an additional picnic area with two covered picnic shelters, playground units, a large fishing pier and a full-service campground.

For more information, call (912) 435-8205 or (912) 435-8209 for the Outdoor Recreation Center or (912) 435-8219 for the Skeet and Trap Range.

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