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A topping out ceremony was held to celebrate the finalization of the structure for the future auditorium on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Feb. 22, 2023. The 22,000-square-foot station academic facility is part of the recovery construction to rebuild and modernize structures damaged by Hurricane Florence. The topping out ceremony is a celebration of the facility structure being completed and the next stage of construction beginning.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Lauralle Walker

Topping Out: Hurricane Florence Recovery Projects Progress at Cherry Point

1 Mar 2023 | Chrystal Smith The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The emplacement of a white, steel support member atop the new auditorium facility indicated an important milestone for the progress of Hurricane Florence Recovery projects at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Feb. 22, 2023.

MCAS Cherry Point and the Resident Office In-Charge of Construction Florence personnel made their marks on the final steel beam before it was hoisted in ceremony to top out the structure of military construction project P-254.

“We are erasing the battle damage of (Hurricane Florence) and moving toward the final restoration of the mission, facilities and our base,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Jim Brown, ROICC Florence commanding officer, of ongoing projects at MCAS Cherry Point.

 “Great progress is being made at America’s air station to improve the quality of life for Marines, Sailors, Civilians and families." Col. Brendan Burks, MCAS Cherry Point Commanding Officer

“We’re nearing the halfway mark to having it done and delivered,” Brown said. P-254 is on course to be completed by the late fall of 2024, will deliver a 22,000-square-foot station academic facility of 1,000-seats and include the demolition of the current theater facility that sits adjacent to the construction site.

It will be a “right-sized, right-oriented training facility for the Marine Corps in the future,” added Brown.

“Great progress is being made at America’s air station to improve the quality of life for Marines, Sailors, Civilians and families,” said MCAS Cherry Point Commanding Officer Col. Brendan Burks, of the progress of construction. “Great work by all the teams to restore capabilities to the air station and to support the modernization of the installation.”

It is one of the five major recovery projects that was awarded to Whiting-Turner Contracting Company in August 2020. The $149 million-package of projects includes construction of six additional replacement facilities: the Provost Marshal’s Office, a headquarters support squadron building, two new fire stations, a motor transportation and communication shop, and a replacement range operations center at an outlying field.

Of the projects in progress, the P-162 is on target to be completed first, by the fall. It is the construction of two facilities that will house the air station and wing support squadrons and PMO. P-246 that got underway in August 2022 will replace the Range Operations Center and tower currently located at Bombing Target 11. It is projected to be completed in the summer of 2024. Construction for P-142 is programmed to start in May, and P-130 is projected to begin in the late summer.

While this writing mainly addresses the major Hurricane Florence MILCON recovery projects in progress or on the way, ROICC Florence has concurrently overseen the accomplishment of other numerous smaller-scale repairs and renovations around the air station effort, since 2020. ROICC Florence Cherry Point has repaired or replaced rooves on 106 buildings and completed interior renovations and repairs to 67 buildings.