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New Crossroads facility opens

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The new Crossroads Student Ministry Center, which relocated to Building 3201 on Kearney Boulevard across from the commissary, is now open for business. 

The facility, previously an MTL office, is "one small way to express freedom of "religion" as described by Col. Andrew Britschgi, 17th Training Wing vice commander, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 21. It is also a "commitment of wing leadership to your quality of life," he expressed to the enlisted students in the crowd. 

The new and improved Crossroads is indeed a statement of appreciation for Goodfellow's enlisted students. The facility contains new equipment, such as an air hockey table and even a Bowflex© workout system for the fitness enthusiast. 

Students may lounge in the comfortable couches and watch TV on a monster screen, study test materials with classmates, or talk to an on-site representative from Family Readiness and Support about finances. The Cyber Café, under construction, will provide computer access in the near future. 

The old location was inadequate to serve the needs of students. According to 1st Lt. (Chap.) Martin S. Barnes, approximately 450,000 students were served at the previous facility in 2005. In order to meet demands, the chapel staff knew that they needed a bigger place and newer equipment. 

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Chief of Chaplains office at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C., the staff was able to accomplish much. "We had an idea of what we needed as new because some of the stuff from the old Crossroads was too used and old. For other things, we just did a 'what do we think would be good in there,'" described Tech Sgt. John D. Kittles, NCOIC of Chapel Operations. 

The center is run primarily by students who wear white ropes, which signify those who are trained chapel leaders. A chaplain supervises overall operations but mainly it is the white ropes who maintain and oversee the facility in shifts they sign up for voluntarily. 

The hours of operation are weekdays, from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for A shift students; 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. for B shift. The facility is open Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday hours are noon to 5:30 p.m. 

Airman 1st Class Mitchel Fowler, Crossroads volunteer and white rope, believes the new center will have a positive impact on his fellow students. "It's a really good place for students to come and relax, get away from the stresses of tech school," he described. "New students should come. We can show them what tech school's about and play a little air hockey," he said with a smile.