The Coast Guard Foundation Shipmate Lodge, also known as the Cadet Lodge, has been a cornerstone of the Coast Guard Foundation since the facility was built in the 1980s. For those who don't know, the lodge is located at our headquarters in rural Stonington, Connecticut.
Originally designed and built as a place for cadets to escape the rigors of life at the Coast Guard Academy in nearby New London, Conn., its purpose has evolved over time to include the playing field for the Academy's rugby teams as well as a place for family gatherings or meetings for Coast Guard groups. And now it's getting a makeover.
One thing we often hear when a Coast Guard member sees the lodge again for the first time since his Academy days is: "Wow, it looks exactly the same as it did when I was in college."
Truthfully, the furniture and design of the space can be like stepping back into another era. The lodge has a "Brady Bunch" kind of charm, let's say. But now thanks to some help from the Coast Guard Academy, the lodge is getting some much-need updates. Improvements include: refinished floors, freshly painted walls, new furniture and electronics for the common areas, new kitchen appliances, as well as rehabbed bathrooms and closets. The work is expected to be finished some time in February.
Volunteers from the Coast Guard Academy – both cadets and officer candidates – are helping with much of the work. A group of Coast Guard chief petty officers volunteered their time recently to pitch in, too.
"We're happy to see the improvements at the Lodge," said Suzan Springer Coast Guard Foundation CFO, who is overseeing the Foundation’s portion of the work. "We're looking forward to seeing more cadets use the space and utilize all there is to offer here at Coast Guard Foundation Headquarters."