New Year brings renovations to fitness center

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rebecca R. Imwalle
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Several rooms and areas in the Bellamy Fitness Center are being renovated for safety and infrastructure requirements and are scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

Renovations began November when the Department of Defense provided a grant of more than $1.2 million to Ellsworth, funding a total of four projects in the BFC.

Rick Ives, 28th Force Support Squadron fitness center director, said that the funding was a result of DOD surveys conducted annually to find out what Airmen like most about Air Force installations.

"The DOD gives money to targeted areas that appear to mean most to Airmen, which is shown in these surveys," Ives said. "Fitness centers are one of the most popular choices for buildings they want to see upgraded."

Ives said that contractors are working around-the-clock - modernizing and improving the gym - in an effort to re-establish a better workout environment for gym patrons.

"When we designed the layout of the facility, we brought in an architecture design company to give us a modern color pallet," Ives said. "The family fitness center has a green color scheme and the cardio room will be red and grey. Aesthetically, the gym will look very nice."

In addition to improving the look and feel of the gym, Gary Marker, GSK Joint Venture quality control superintendant, said that the flooring in the cardio and free-weight room will be replaced to eliminate potential safety hazards and both locker rooms are being upgraded to include new lockers, floor covering and lighting.

"Once the platform is finished, the new rubber flooring and mirrors will be installed, followed by moving all equipment back into the cardio and weight room," Marker said. "The family room is our first completed project. Priority was put on the family room to clear areas of equipment which will become rooms for the Nautilus and Life Fitness equipment."

Ives noted that upgrading the fitness center was preferred over building a new one due to the fact that the Air Force determines the square footage of a fitness center based on active duty population, and a percentage of dependents and retirees that are in the area.

"We would lose nearly 1/3 of the square footage that we currently use," Ives said. "This is due to the fact that in 1993, base population was two times what it is today."

Ives added that he and his staff are excited to see how the gym looks after all renovations are complete.

"I'm sure everyone is going to like what we've done," Ives said. "At the end of the day, these changes and additions are for our patrons and we want to see them happy to come to the gym."