Leadership school gets new home

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Nellis’ branch of Airman Leadership School welcomed its first class into the school’s new facility located in the old hospital March 10. “The new location is much more conducive for learning,” said Master Sgt. Robert Brooks, ALS flight chief. “It’s brighter, bigger and simply a better environment.”

Almost $3.2 million went into planning the renovation, constructing the new site, and purchasing new furniture and computers. It took approximately three years to complete the project from the planning phase to the actual build.

There are six ALS designated classrooms that are double the size of the previous ones. The school also has two extra classrooms, one used for a break room for the students and the other used by the Civil Air Patrol for its youth program.

“The bigger classrooms allow the instructors to move around if they need to. Every instructor has their own teaching style,” said Sergeant Brooks. “It gives them the opportunity and space to be more effective instructors.”

Each classroom now meets Air Combat Command standards for a Professional Development School layout. The furniture is arranged in a “horseshoe” design, which enhances communication between the students and the instructors.

The new site includes a state-of-the-art auditorium complete with surround-sound speakers.

The room is fronted with a stage, and the seats are tiered downward so the entire audience has an uninterrupted view. Overall, the room seats 90 people—more than enough for all ALS students. There is also space sectioned off for a future Nellis Heritage Hall. “My vision is that it will be a museum dedicated to the history of Nellis’ enlisted force,” said Sergeant Brooks.

After completion of the renovation, ALS students and instructors constructed prefabricated furniture for the school and moved equipment from the old building to the new one.

What’s more, the instructors wired the surround sound and projectors in the auditorium and classrooms.

“The final phase of the new building could almost be categorized as a ‘self-help project,’” said Sergeant Brooks.

The sergeant said he has big hopes for the school. “Eventually, we will have a mural painted, install etched glass on the conference room and the Heritage Hall door and one day, maybe a larger drill pad for marching,” he said.

ALS is an Air Force educational program implemented at the base level. It is intended to prepare senior airmen for positions of greater responsibility.

ALS holds eight classes per year, with an average of 60 students in a class. Sergeant Brooks said he has a staff of six—five instructors and one information manager.

An office for each staff member was also incorporated into the building. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility is scheduled for April 10 at 1:30 p.m., followed by an open house with refreshments.

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