By Maj. Robert Corriveau, Marco Island Senior Squadron
Marco Island, Fla. -
On Wednesday, 20 November 2019, Civil Air Patrol's Marco Island Senior Squadron (MICAP) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of a project to replace the hangar destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
The construction is set to start in January with funding from a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant covers most of the rebuilding cost but the Squadron still needs to raise funds to cover the balance of the project cost and is currently involved in a fundraising campaign.
Major Bob Corriveau, squadron project manager, said, "The building will be exactly the same as before Irma, The only difference is that it will conform to the higher wind standards required by current building codes." Corriveau said construction is expected to be completed by May 2020.
Corriveau explained that after IRMA passed, the office portion of the building was left untouched; the 60 by 70-ft. hangar section was "crushed as if by a giant fist".
"It had to be a micro burst or a tornado," said Corriveau at the time. "It’s like a giant wind hand grabbed the hangar door and pushed it back. The hangar is totally destroyed but you walk into the squadron room, and you wouldn’t know anything was different."
For now and until construction commences, the side of the building where the hangar is supposed to be will continue to be covered with blue tarps, a reminder of Irma's destructive path through Southwest Florida.
DOWNLOAD IMAGE Photo Caption: Project management team and officials celebrate the groundbreaking for the new hangar – note the shovels! (Photo credit: Maj. M. Motyl-Szary)
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.