Tropics Recreation Center reopens

| January 15, 2016 | 0 Comments
Pvt. Jonathan O'Neil attempts to hit a ball in the corner pocket at the newly renovated Tropics Recreation Center. He played against Benjamin Adkins, a recreation assistant at Tropics. O’Neil is of Newport News, Va., and with 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Pvt. Jonathan O’Neil attempts to hit a ball in the corner pocket at the newly renovated Tropics Recreation Center. He played against Benjamin Adkins, a recreation assistant at Tropics. O’Neil is of
Newport News, Va., and with 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The end of work is the beginning of fun at the renovated Tropics Recreation Center, here.

The center has reopened after its first phase of improvements; it’s available for single Soldiers who are 18 and older.

Approximately $1 million was spent to update the center’s layout and entertainment equipment, said Shelly Leslie, acting chief of the Community Recreation Division at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Pvt. Jonathan O'Neil racks up a pool table at the Tropics, Jan. 8. O’Neil was one of several customers at the newly reopened center. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Pvt. Jonathan O’Neil racks up a pool table at
the Tropics, Jan. 8. O’Neil was one of several
customers at the newly reopened center. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

“We are so excited to have the doors open. We’ve missed our regular guests and are happy to see so many new faces,” said Melania Silva, facility manager for the Tropics. “The Soldiers are delighted to be back at their favorite hangout spot that is conveniently located just across the street from a number of the barracks.”

Among the major changes to the center is an improved kitchen with a new bar where customers can order food and drinks.

Leslie and Silva said the updates were important to provide a centralized location for Soldiers to relax.

“Taking Soldiers’ input from a focus group (Voice of the Customer), we had an interior design team from G9, Family and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) come in and put together a concept design for Tropics,” Silva said. “It included a full bar, new flooring, painting, lighting and customized furniture. The atmosphere and ambience of the place changed dramatically. Cozy, yet still fun and upbeat, our new facility is here to deliver a new recreation experience.”

Along with an updated layout, the center also now has brand new entertainment gear ready for Soldiers to use during their visit.

Customers line up for food and drinks at the newly renovated Tropics Recreation Center. The $1 million renovation included renovating the center’s kitchen and providing new recreation equipment. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Customers line up for food and drinks at the newly renovated Tropics Recreation Center. The $1 million renovation included renovating the center’s
kitchen and providing new recreation equipment. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

“The renovation included eight 90-inch TVs that surround the main floor, excellent for watching all your favorite sports or just relaxing with music videos,” Silva said. “(There is also) a brand new gaming area that boasts six 55-inch TVs, gaming chairs, choice of Xbox One or PlayStation 4 consoles, six pool tables, two ping pong tables, an air hockey and a foosball table.”

Silva said the center’s sound system has also been updated, and Soldiers can now freely borrow wireless speakers to use at the center. The mobile speakers can be placed closer to visitors sitting at a table or used with headphones for the best sound.

Several regular patrons said the new updates are great and were happy the center is back, including Sgt. David Bullington, with Apache Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He said enjoys using the center’s pool tables in a convenient location without having to make a long drive elsewhere.

Spc. Christopher York, plays NBA 2K on one of the 55-inch screen TVs available at the newly renovated center. York is a native of Houston and with 25th Sustainment Brigade’s 18th Movement Control Team. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Spc. Christopher York, plays NBA 2K on one of the 55-inch screen TVs available at the newly renovated
center. York is a native of Houston and with 25th Sustainment Brigade’s 18th Movement
Control Team. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

“With the addition of the new bar and TVs, the vibe is more welcoming,” said Bullington, of Spartanburg, S.C. “I’m glad it’s reopened. I spent a lot of time here before. After seeing other Army recreation centers, this is one of the nicest facilities I’ve used.”

Leslie said staff is planning for another $5.6 million major renovation in the future. She said the next improvement project will be adding air conditioning and upgrading the electronics for gaming.

“We’re a work in progress,” Leslie explained. “If someone sees something that would be good for the center, check in with our wonderful staff.”

Leslie said the center staff takes pride in responding quickly to customers’ needs. She said customer feedback allows the center staff to offer new selections they might not have considered.

“Our goal is for Tropics to be the first stop for Soldiers,” Leslie said. “Tropics is in walking distance, offering reasonable prices and great programs.”

• Tropics Recreation Center

The center is located at 1470 Foote St., Bldg. 589, Schofield Barracks.

Call (808) 655-5698 or visit www.himwr.com/recreation-and-leisure/tropics/tropics.

The center is operating on temporarily shortened hours:

  • Thursday: 4 to 10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 4 p.m. to midnight.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community, Single Soldiers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *