U.S. NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain (NNS) -- The Liberty Center aboard NSA Bahrain reopened Jan. 25 during an unveiling ceremony showcasing more than $100,000 in upgrades and renovations.
More than 100 service members attended the noon-hour event that featured free food and prize giveaways.
"This was an extreme makeover," said Kristie Kader, Liberty program manager. "The atmosphere has been completely changed. Now it's more inviting and relaxing. It's like a nice local hangout spot or lounge."
She said the center's previous appearance did not suit Liberty's target audience.
"What was here was not tailored to the enlisted members in the 18 to 25-year-old age group we are catering to," she explained. "We have painted the facility and laid all new carpet to make it more appealing."
The center features an Internet Café; a movie room; a video gaming room; a television lounge; a phone center; and a recreational area with pool tables, foosball and dartboards.
In addition to renovating the facility, there were technological upgrades added like new computers, televisions, sound systems and recreational equipment.
Liberty Center now features two giant-screen televisions – one in its movie room and another in the lounge that has been outfitted with all new furniture, new lighting system, and modern artwork.
Kader said one of the biggest improvements is the new audio equipment in the movie room and lounge.
"We put in brand new surround-sound systems in each," she said. "Now it creates more of a theater environment."
Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Clarence Judd, from Naval Security Force, was on hand for the event.
"This is a much better place now," he said "The environment is more relaxing, and it's just a great place for us single Sailors to come and enjoy ourselves."
In addition to services and events offered at the center, Liberty offers trips to various locations throughout Bahrain. Kader said she places a huge emphasis on ensuring Sailors have the opportunity to experience the Bahraini culture.
"We are operating in an overseas location, so it changes our focus from that of a Liberty program in the U.S.," she said. "It's good for the junior Sailors to have a taste of home while they are here, but it is also important for them to get out of the barracks, step out of their normal routines, and experience the local culture."
The Liberty Center is a Morale, Welfare and Recreation-run facility with programs that are subsidized, so trips offered by the Center are free.
Kader said this is a good incentive for Sailors to take part in Liberty events.
"The Liberty Center is an extension of their barracks," she said. "It's our mission to offer junior Sailors as many opportunities as possible, so they can make the most of their tour while stationed in Bahrain."
The Liberty's programs are available to single service members and geographical bachelors in pay grades from E1 to E6.
For more news from Naval Support Activity Bahrain, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsabahrain/.