Fort Gordon community input sparks MWR improvements
FORT GORDON, Ga. (May 16, 2014 ) - Janice Sims, licensed Zumba instructor, leads a group of women during a Zumba Toning class at Fort Gordon Fitness Center May 13. Fitness center patrons will be able to participate in group classes free of charge beginning next month.

FORT GORDON, Ga. (May 16, 2014) - When the Fort Gordon community makes requests, Garrison does more than listen -- it takes action.

The installation will see significant changes in the fitness and recreation realms largely due to suggestions made by the community, beginning with Fitness Center 3. The gym floor is being renovated and split down the middle to accommodate crossfit and a combatives training area.

Randy Taylor, Fort Gordon Fitness Center facility manager, said the decision to offer CrossFit and combatives came after receiving numerous requests for the programs. Although there is a lot of work to finish, Taylor said patrons are welcome to use the equipment already in place.

"We just ask that everyone be patient with us," Taylor said. "We'll keep adding equipment as it arrives."

Taylor anticipates everything will be fully in place by September. Fitness Centers 5 and 6 will also be receiving upgrades, though in a lesser capacity. Patrons will notice old free weights replaced with new. Two of the biggest changes won't come in material form but in savings and time.

Taylor said he plans to have a contract in place by June 1 that will allow patrons to participate in group classes free of charge. The second plan is a pilot program for a 24/7 fitness center. Taylor is in the process of conducting interviews and said that as soon as they have adequate staffing, he will announce a start date.

"This is stuff that people have been asking for, and now we are able to provide," Taylor said.
Fitness fanatics aren't the only ones who have a lot to look forward to. Alex Gaines, director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, has big plans to improve quality of life by adding amenities. Gaines assumed position as DFMWR director three months ago. As an Air Force retiree, he easily identifies with troops and is passionate about enhancing their lives.

"It's a morale issue,"Gaines said. "The most important thing is that we do whatever we can do to take care of our military personnel and their families."

Paintball, disc golf, go-karts, an indoor inflatable center and an outdoor children's train are some of the programs the community can expect to see in the future. And although Gaines could not provide a detailed timeline, he assured the plans are on a path to becoming reality.
"We're going to spend time getting them together because we want them to maintain and thrive," he said.

"We want to be the best in the area at an affordable price."

Gaines described plans for a dog park and pet lodge as "pre-decisional," adding that both require more research before Garrison makes a final decision. Part of the decision making will come from visiting other installations to see how they operate.

"It's something we want to do, but we want to make sure we're doing it correctly," Gaines said. "We don't want to put something out there haphazardly." Gaines and Taylor are open to suggestions and encourage feedback using the Interactive Customer Evaluation system online at www.gordon.army.mil.

Page last updated Fri May 16th, 2014 at 16:14