The National Training Center Command Teams, Soldiers, families, and civilians celebrated the grand opening of the new library at Fort Irwin, Calif., on March 9, 2022.
“This [library] is a significant investment for the Army into this community,” Brig Gen. Curt Taylor, commanding general, said. “This is a world class facility for soldiers and young children, and tremendous improvement to our quality of life.”
Taylor reminisced about watching construction crews tear down a wooden building, which was the original library, in 1987 as a young teenager. Taylor said that the original library site was converted into a Burger King and is now the newly renovated drive thru Starbucks across from the brand new library construction.
“We continue to get better — this is just the beginning,” Taylor said. “There are plans for a community activities center, outdoor recreation facility, and new teen center. We will continue to invest in this community, so when one of you come back in 30 years it will be better for you and your family.”
Over 400 community members visited the new facility which will provide the community with the ability to check out physical and digital books, Wi-Fi, computer stations, printers, outdoor activity area, conference room, a designated teen center, children’s area, and nursery.
“My favorite part about the library was getting to look at books,” Second grader, Owen Denton said. Denton said he reads four books a day and checked out two books about pirates and dinosaurs.
Library visitors enjoyed story time with the Garrison Commander, participated in a scavenger hunt and were provided free books donated from the Bob Hope USO, and the Villages at Fort Irwin housing offices.
The children in attendance were read the story of “Peppa Pig and the Library.” Col. Jason Clarke, read the story in which Peppa and her family go to the library after they become bored with their selection of books at home.
“We are excited for what this new library means for the community, it’s more than just a library,” Clarke said. “It’s resources and a destination for all of our community members.”
The next closes library is in the neighboring city of Barstow, which is a 40 minute commute for residents.
“I loved the sliding bookshelves and the larger selection provided,” Kinesha Ricks, who visits the library every two weeks with her four children, said.
This new 8,000-square-foot facility replaces a more than 25-year-old temporary library structure. The six million dollar project is a energy-efficient, LEED-Silver certified facility. Construction include a Shaded courtyard and landscape which reduces water demand, contains storm water on site and incorporates low-volume irrigation methods and xeriscaping techniques.
Clark said he appreciated all the hard work the Army engineers, constructions crews and our civilian workers put into getting this facility open. He remarked that it has been the Garrison Command Teams goal since he took command to open as much for the community as possible. This has not been an easy task first with COVID-19 restrictions and now the staffing challenges the entire nation is facing.
Great Community Participation yesterday as @NTCLead6, @USAG_IrwinCDR, with help from the audience, officially open Ft Irwin’s new post library and Starbucks drive-thru. #LeadTrainWin pic.twitter.com/kE0jjES9Tv
— Fort Irwin NTC (@NTC_UPDATE) March 10, 2022
“It was an honor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be a part of another great project at Fort Irwin,” said Maj. Kevin Stucker, deputy commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “The new Fort Irwin Library is a massive upgrade — it is 25-percent larger and LEED-Silver certified with a host of modern technical improvements. The library will have a positive impact that will be enjoyed by the Fort Irwin community for generations to come.”
Library is located in building 333 on Second Street. The operation hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The library is closed Sundays. You can follow the Library at https://www.facebook.com/ntcpostlibrary for up-to-date information on future activities and events.