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Building class rooms for the future 

CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. – Pfc. Alvin Bonilla, a Haverhill, Mass., native and electrician with the 181st Engineer Company, secures cables during renovation of a World War II era building, June 15th, 2011. The buildings are being renovated into class rooms for use on Camp Edwards, Mass .(U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Lucas John Prikazsky, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center)

Story and Photos by Pfc. Lucas John Prikazsky, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center 

CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. – Soldiers of the 181st Engineer Company, Massachusetts Army National Guard, worked to renovate three World War II era buildings into future class rooms. 

The 181st Eng. Co. began the project on June 8, 2011 during drill weekend and was expected to continue until the end of their annual training, June 18, 2011.

Two of the three 181st platoons are located on Camp Edwards, the other platoon is stationed in Methuen, Mass., said Staff Sgt. Darren Rempp, platoon sergeant of first platoon, 181st Eng. Co.

The three platoons have come together this month and are working to complete their mission and overcome any obstacles, said Staff Sgt. Michael Cooper, from Rockland, Mass., the non-commissioned officer in charge of third platoon, 181st Eng. Co.

The buildings being renovated were built in 1942 and were originally meant to be temporary, said Sgt. 1st Class Darren Woolf, a Randolph, Mass. native.

The Soldiers had to bring the floor up, add electrical panels, fix the roof, raise the ceiling and add insulation, said Cooper. 

There will also be air conditioning inside the buildings as well as Category 5 cables for computer, telephone, and video connectivity, said Cooper.  

For the past week, Soldiers of the 181st Eng. Co. have been moving forward with their mission, regardless of the time of day.

Several motivated Soldiers rolled out a portable generator light after dark and were able to continue renovating the buildings well into the night, said Woolf.

The hands on training and step by step directions for our Soldiers are important and the experience is valuable, said Woolf.

Working with the lack of equipment sometimes, such as a ladder, things got scattered but we were able to adapt and overcome, said Staff. Sgt. Mellissa Svoboda from Natick, Mass.

“I think it’s going pretty well for the challenges we’ve had,” said Svoboda. “We’ve just done a great job.” 

As the motivated Soldiers from the 181st Eng. Co. build class rooms for tomorrow, their invaluable training is received today.