New Alabama Local Hall Doubles as Storm Shelter

The local community turned out in force for the dedication of Local 2003’s new headquarters building in Daleville, AL. The local serves nearly 4,000 IAM members employed at nearby Ft. Rucker.

Years of planning and months of construction came to fruition for Local 2003 in Daleville, AL this week when Daleville Mayor Wes Etheredge joined Local 2003 President Tony Barnes in a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the local’s new 15,000 square foot headquarters. Prominently located on Highway 167, adjacent to the “Welcome to Daleville” sign, the new IAM local building performs double duty as a community storm shelter.

Founded in 1955, Local 2003 members maintain the Army’s helicopter fleet at nearby Ft. Rucker. “We’re proud of the new headquarters,” said President Barnes. We have offices, conference rooms, a meeting hall that holds 532 people and we have state-of-the-art computer and technical equipment to service our membership.”

With Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez (left) and District 75 Directing Business Representative Steve Pridgen (right) looking on, Local 2003 President Tony Barnes and Daleville Mayor Wes Etheredge share ribbon cutting duties to formally open the new 15,000 sq. ft. local lodge.

An added source of pride for the local is that the building doubles as a storm shelter. “It’s FEMA qualified to withstand winds of 250 mph,” said Barnes. “We have been a proud part of this community for years, and we want to be there for our community if they need us.”

Located less than 100 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, Daleville and the Wiregrass area is no stranger to severe weather. In addition to damage sustained from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the nearby town of Enterprise, AL was hit by a tornado in 2007 that killed eight high school students and destroyed dozens of homes, many belonging to IAM members.

“Local Lodge 2003 has been an integral part of this community for years. The good jobs with good wages and benefits fuels the economy and tax base of the entire Wiregrass area,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, who spoke at the opening ceremony. “This building shows how much of a part of the community the IAM really is. Contractors and employers may come and go, but the IAM and its members have been here since 1955, and we’ll be here for decades into the future. The Wiregrass is a stronger community because of the IAM.”