New Professional Development Center houses multiple education opportunities|
by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs
6/17/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- In celebration of the new Professional Development Center, the 42nd Force Support Squadron hosted an open house June 4.
The center houses the Airman Leadership School, First-Term Airman Center and noncommissioned officer professional enhancement, the base education office and the base career assistance adviser.
The center, located in building 501 near the Maxwell Boulevard gate, was used as classroom space by Troy University. Troy left the building once class enrollment started to decline.
"We could not be more pleased with the new facility," said Senior Master Sgt. Saskia Johnson, commandant of the Airman Leadership School. "The results are the vision we anticipated. The staff and students love the new learning environment, and all visitors have had nothing but praise for the facility and the benefits that this brings the base."
Relocating to the Professional Development Center took approximately one year, according to Johnson. Funding assistance from the 42nd Air Base Wing and other mission partners was needed to help establish the new center.
Bruce Barton, chief of the 42nd Force Support Squadron Force Development Flight, came up with the idea to consolidate the ALS and the other functions into one facility.
"Last year when Troy University moved out, we wanted building 501 to become a massive education center," he said. "So far, we have already had one class in here, and it went well. This facility is simply ideal for what we wanted."
Now that the facility is complete, Johnson admitted that the relocation was not easy, and assistance was essential.
"With the help of volunteers and the staff, everything went better than planned," she said. "The building required computer rooms, an auditorium with stadium seating, classrooms, a break area and offices. We were literally moving an entire school and faculty into the building. It was a very large task to take on."
The primary goal was to ensure students have the best environment to help mold them into the next leaders in the Air Force.
"This is a world-class facility," said Col. Trent Edwards, 42nd Air Base Wing commander. "We talk about mission readiness and developing Airmen leadership, and that is what this facility will do, all in one location. It took vision and planning, but most of all, action."