Laughlin begins groundbreaking at the Ricks Hall dormitory

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David Phaff
  • 47th Flying Training Wing public affairs

Team XL is always looking to improve aspects of the base to help support the mission and better the lives of the members who live and work here -- whether on the flight line, the front gate, or the places Airmen live.

On Mar. 6, 2023, Laughlin held a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the beginning of its revitalization of the Ricks Hall dormitory, to modernize and improve the quality of life for the base’s junior enlisted that call it home.

“The purpose of the dormitory revitalization is to raise the standards for quality of life for Air Force Airmen at Laughlin AFB,” said Daniel M. Gallegos, 47th Civil Engineering Squadron project management element chief. “The dormitory is home to them for years at a time and should be comfortable and instill a sense of pride.”

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center funded this $35.3 million project. It will contribute to improving the base and give Airmen the ability to perform better by going home to a comfortable living space at the end of their day.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what they do and how the new dorms will turn out,” said Airman 1st Class Keira Rossman, 47th Flying Training Wing public affairs specialist. “I think it’ll make life a lot more enjoyable for the Airman who are stationed here for future generations.”

This is an improvement to the current dormitory in use, which have a smaller living space, shared bathrooms, and a cooking area to be shared by approximately 100 residents.

“This project will be a tremendous benefit to Laughlin,” said Gallegos. “The square footage of each room has doubled, and each room will have its own kitchenette and private bathroom.  The quality of life for our Airmen living in the dorm will be significantly improved with nothing like it in the Air Force.”

This project is so extensive and expansive it took more man-hours than usual to get approved and implemented.

“The size and amenities of each room are such a significant improvement beyond the standard dorm configuration that the project required an Exception to Policy from the Director of Civil Engineers at Headquarters Air Force,” said Gallegos. “The Exception to Policy and funding approval required extensive, consistent advocacy from the wing, AETC, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. All the persistence paid off in the end, and the funded project was a massive win for Laughlin Airmen!”