By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The atmosphere in many military dormitories usually falls into one of two categories, either it’s the community hangout, where everyone knows everyone else and is the hub of all dorm activity or it’s a ghost town, with dorm residents going into their rooms to stay glued to the television or video game day after day.
With the addition of a large dorm improvement project, which includes a new basketball court, the dorms at Peterson Air Force Base, which houses Schriever dorm residents, are quickly becoming the dormitories of the first kind.
“Last year we received about $250,000 to be used for quality of life initiatives in the dorms,” said Joey Sanchez, 21st Civil Engineer asset management section. “We decided on the upgrades based on what the residents wanted. They (dorm residents) had been talking about a basketball court that was closer than the fitness center for a while.”
The brand new court was not the only initiative the quarter of million dollars brought. There were also brand new, built-in gas grills, as well as covered bicycle racks that were added.
“We are happy we were able to do this and that the dorm residents appreciate it,” said Sanchez. “Quality of life for the dorms is a big priority for us and one of our biggest goals.”
The additions have not gone unnoticed from the dorm residents.
Airman 1st Class Shaun Moon, 21st Dental Squadron and secretary/treasury of the Peterson Dorm Council, was on hand to cut the ribbon, with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Trottier, 21st Space Wing command chief and Chief Master Sgt. Randy LaCombe, 50th Space Wing command chief, which officially opened the court for play.
“I arrived here in the beginning planning stages of this project,” said Moon. “We put a lot of effort into getting this court put in. I’m really happy the Chiefs have come out to support us and excited about what this will bring to dorm living.”
For other dorm residents, the dorm basketball court is more convenient.
“I definitely see myself out on this court all the time,” said Airman 1st Class Maurice Moyer, 4th Space Operations Squadron. “We play basketball at the gym just about every day; this court is closer. I’m happy we have this now.”
Both command chiefs felt this court will only help Airmen at both Peterson and Schriever.
“Right now the Air Force is really focusing on resiliency, which is kind of like that net that catches us when we fall,” said Trottier. “Resiliency is made up of four things: physical; which we get from playing basketball, social; which we get from playing basketball, mental and spiritual. It’s not all four, but this one addition lends itself to two of the points.”
LaCombe, whose Airmen reside in the Peterson dorms, thinks this will help with that sense of community.
“I honestly think this court will bring a lot more camaraderie to our Airmen as they live and play together,” said LaCombe. “Not to mention the amount of teamwork and networking they will get out on the court.”
After the ribbon cutting, dorm residents broke in the new basketball court with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and cookout.