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Fitness Center Showers

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander. 

I was curious as to why Ellsworth AFB still has prison style gang showers in the base fitness center. It's absurd to me given our high tech force and education programs that these even still exist. To me, you only have to look at the condition of the basic amenities available to the people to find out what is really thought of them and to top it off, it's intentional; someone either approved the design or neglected the updates. Ultimately, all that is needed are some basic free standing shower partitions installed.probably not much more than $1,500 per bank of four showers. So, for about $6,000, we could have updated facilities and we could preserve some sort of personal dignity and decency for our troops in the meantime.

Col. Mark Weatherington
Col. Mark
I assure you there is no intentional conspiracy to maintain "prison style gang showers" at the base fitness center. While private shower areas would enhance our facility and better serve our customers, when the facility was originally constructed in 1958, and during the last major renovation in 1993, the design standards did not require privatized shower areas. Additionally, the men's locker room received a cosmetic facelift in 2002 that included new sinks, urinals, mirrors, and tile rework, but did not include alterations to the existing design.
In 2005, the Air Force updated guidance and stipulated that all new facility construction and major renovations of fitness center shower areas will incorporate private shower and drying area enclosures. We have identified the privatized shower requirements to our Civil Engineer experts for inclusion in future renovation projects and upgrades slated for the Bellamy Fitness Center. All future facility improvements are prioritized based on mission needs and available funding. Thank you for your feedback, your comments help us provide continuous quality of life improvements to our patrons.