Up until about 18-months ago, Marines at the Marine Aviation Training Support Group, or MATSG, had to go to the top floor of the USO building.
That is when they inherited their own two-story building across the street, but it was in bad shape.
In this week's Military Matters, Jane Monreal shows us how the group was able to turn a dilapidated structure into a space they are proud of.
Contractors say renovation on an abandoned building like this one should have taken at least one year at a cost of about two-million dollars.
The "MATSG" project was done in three months and for less than 150-thousand dollars.
Lt. Colonel Kevin Heartwell with the US Marines said, "Sweat equity is I guess what you'd call it. Sweat equity. Marines spending their own time, their own efforts to make this their own space. Make it nice."
Lt. Heartwell credits Captain Mike Young, a contractor before entering the Marines for spearheading the project.
"This is kind of what we walked into, when we came here and we've since gotten rid of a lot of the old furniture and redone all the walls."
90-students and personnel - waiting to start training - pitched in to complete specific areas for work space, a radio training room, and a conference room.
"One thing Marines really like is we have our own gym. Here, we have the free weight gym built and paid for by marines. Then, we have the cardio gym over here." The walls are decorated with donations and framed photos.Another small corridor also serves as a makeshift museum with letters and photos from a Corpus Christi native who served in Iwo Jima.
Heartwell says it's important for current Marines to know their heritage. "they see what people did before them as far as how hard they had to strive to achieve what they did, and it makes them think, If they can do it, I can do it someday."
The end result, a top notch hub for active Marines in South Texas.