Airmen improve Brick House usage with renovations

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nick Wilson
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Spangdahlem's Brick House isn't a typical Air Force community center.

Not only does it have plasma TVs, wireless internet and the latest gaming stations, it also features a new music studio, and has been renovated for events such as dance parties and unaccompanied Airmen's nights.

Thanks to Senior Airman Jonathan Krejci, 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron conventional munitions crew chief, and Senior Airman Matthew Connelly, 52nd EMS munitions plans and scheduler, the Brick House now includes a new music studio and refurbishments such as changes in lighting, wiring work, sound equipment, fog machines, video walls, new staging and even a new bar area.

"We moved the bar from the old community center in Bitburg to the Brick House, redid the whole bar area, calibrated the sound system, built the manager's office, installed the security cameras, painted the (disc jockey) booth, redid the whole back storage area to actually be organized and threw away two massive dumpsters of trash," Airman Connelly said.

Before the music studio became a studio, it was simply a storage room for equipment used for official and community events. Airmen Krejci and Connelly noticed there was already enough instruments and equipment to build a music studio.

"Jon and I noticed that there was a lot of the material already in the Brick House -- guitars, pianos, etc. -- that wasn't in use because it was being reserved for special events. So, we came up with the concept to place everything in one area and to make it available to everyone," Airman Connelly said.

Airmen Krejci and Connelly saved the Air Force more than $300,000 by volunteering 1,200 man hours to build the music studio and refurbish the Brick House.

"We usually spent more than 12 hours a day there," Airman Connelly said. "We tested equipment, disassembled equipment, fixed it, cleaned it and put it all back together again."

The Brick House's new music studio officially opened March 2 and has electric guitars, a drum set, a keyboard and recording equipment available to all base members older than 18 from noon - 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

"The studio environment has inspired people to purchase instruments and become more involved in music," Todd CredaroIi, 52nd Force Support Squadron music studio manager, said. "I make sure everyone who comes to the studio is welcomed and most of the people who are interested become active participants."

Before the studio officially opened, it already had more than 35 active participants. Not only did the Airmen who built the studio increase Brick House attendance, but they also demonstrated to community center leadership it was manned, properly taken care of, and had staff with the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide this type of program for the Airmen.

Airmen Krejci and Connelly's work was also used as a showcase for the 2011 Installation Excellence Awards Selection Board and contributed to the 52nd Fighter Wing's winning the Commander-In-Chief's Award for Installation Excellence in February.

"I still go there every day or every other day, and I think to myself, 'I built this and people are having fun!' That is amazing," Airman Connelly said. "So it's a good feeling knowing you've done something awesome that many others are enjoying every day."