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Work On VING Readiness Center Continues Despite Ongoing Coronavirus Crisis

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the reconstruction of the Leonard B. Francis Readiness Center in St. Thomas is on schedule to meet its November 2020 deadline.

After extensive damage sustained by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created projects valued at $22 million to support the restoration of facilities for the Virgin Islands National Guard VING.

“The team remains highly encouraged and engaged with finishing this project that started in January 2019,” Major Lionel Eddy, project officer, said. “With only a few months near the deadline, we have made immense strides in realigning the building structure and are focused on configuring the bathrooms, the Distance Learning Center, and the studio for the 73rd Army Band.”

VING Major Lionel Eddy, project manager, oversees construction on the rooftop of the Leonard B. Readiness Center facility, St. Thomas on Wednesday.

Numerous developments gearing towards being ready to stand in any fight were made to the facility. Cement board with Edge Guard was used to decrease mold contamination and increase personnel efficiency. Moreover, a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) was incorporated into the facility to make the 786th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion functional as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Safety is the number one priority. Soldiers remain in the frontlines for mission support tasks mandated by the stay at home order which started in March. The on-going construction incorporates a system of daily status checks to include the wearing of the proper personal equipment to deter the spread of COVID-19.

VING said it “continues to offer better conditions for guardsmen, veterans, and the community in which we serve.”

VING Major Lionel Eddy, project manager, meets with construction supervisors to inspect the Leonard B. Francis Readiness Center, St. Thomas on Wednesday.

We are in this together. Please visit the USVI Department of Health’s website, doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to 888777. #COVID19USVI

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