$3 million project consolidates fitness needs, opens gym to families
June 10, 2009
HOHENFELS, Germany -- The Hohenfels U.S. military community now has one comprehensive fitness facility with cardio classrooms, a basketball court, massage room, spinning room, family room, weight room and brand new machines thanks to a $3 million dollar Installation Management Command funded project.
Fifteen months after U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels broke ground on the project, the grand re-opening May 18 unveiled a renovated and expanded post gym that has absorbed the now-closed Olympia Fitness Center.
"It has been over 20 years since Hohenfels has had one facility with everything under one roof. This is a ... world class facility that will house everything," said Lt. Col. Gary Bloomberg, garrison commander.
"It is awesome-enjoy it," he said just before cutting the ceremonial ribbon, officially opening the center.
Most of the almost 4,000 square feet added to the gym is now a cardio and weight room filled with brand-new cardio and weight machines, free weights, bikes, seven 52-inch televisions and a wall of full of windows.
"For sure all the stuff that is new can be attributed to the support of IMCOM-Europe. We received significant assistance from the region," said Stacye Downing, USAG Hohenfels Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director, explaining that the organization bumped Hohenfels' equipment order to the front of the line to ensure it would be in place for the grand opening.
"Our customers are going to be blown away by all the new equipment," she said.
For example, new treadmills and elliptical machines include a jack customers can plug their headphones into and listen to one of the room's many TVs.
"There is a new atmosphere, new scenery, new equipment. It's so nice-they did a great job. For all the guys who love to lift weights it's like Christmas," Capt. Anthony Williams said after seeing the new cardio and weight room.
For customers will small children, a large family room will allow parents to exercise while their children play in the room's play area or sleep in a stroller beside them.
Completely separate from the rest of the facilities, the family fitness room includes treadmills and elliptical machines that are spread farther apart to accommodate strollers.
Downing said the two couches in the corner of the room will soon be replaced with children's furniture to create a play area.
Strollers are welcome in the family room any time, while stroller hours will remain for use of the nautilus machines and free weights.
"I love that, I was hoping for something like that. It is an awesome idea," Nicole Gavigan, who has a 19-month old and a 4-month-old, said about the family fitness room.
Whether patrons chose to work up a sweat in the family room, lifting weights or taking a group class in the classroom or spinning room, they can now get a massage to ease their aching muscles.
FMWR now has two massage therapists under contract so customers can get a massage right at the gym.
Though things like massage rooms and new equipment are the big headliners of the project, Downing said there are also behind-the-scenes improvements that will mean better service for customers.
Additions like new offices, a new employee break room and a larger laundry room will make the gym much more functional, she said.
The Olympia Fitness Center, which used to house FMWR's weight lifting equipment, is now closed for fitness purposes.
According to Downing, FMWR hopes to re-open it by the end of summer as an indoor paintball arena.