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Renovation workers earn chaplain's praises

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Larcher Chapel is the beneficiary of a talented team of craftsmen and a year-end funding surplus. 

A $91,000 renovation project is giving new life to the chapel's annex area which houses offices, a fellowship hall and kitchen. 

Chaplain (Col.) David Cote, 81st Training Wing chaplain, is thrilled with the results of the work which began three weeks ago. If things proceed as expected, the work should be finished by Easter. 

"The 81st Civil Engineer Squadron has done outstanding renovation work in an amazingly short amount of time," Chaplain Cote said. "The interest on the part of the squadron's commanders and supervisory personnel has been tremendous, and the coordination they initiated with the chaplain service staff was superb. 

"I can't give high enough praise to the workers," he continued. "Their precision and great attitude -- not to mention speed and lack of clutter, which is essential for a working office is the best I've ever seen in my Air Force career." 

The renovation includes a modernized kitchen, new sheetrock, painting and enhanced classroom and office areas. 

"Ceilings, walls, floors, kitchen cabinets, doors -- you name it, they took care of it," Chaplain Cote pointed out. "They even cleaned up the whole area on Fridays so that our chapel services could proceed without a hitch on Sundays." 

"Our skilled craftsmen are awesome," said Master Sgt. Lonnie Bacon, superintendent of heavy repair for the 81st CES. "Our structural planner, Randy Hodge, and our vertical shop chief, Archie Baum, pulled the plans and people together to make this happen." 

"From planning to final implementation, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd have to give every one of the military, civilians and contractors connected with this project at least a 30," Chaplain Cote commented.