SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Health and Fitness Center (HFC), here, may be temporarily out of commission while awaiting a new rooftop, but that hasn't stopped its workout warriors from getting in their customary daily burn just down the road.

In fact, the center's usual slate of classes and services have rolled on uninterrupted at nearby Martinez Physical Fitness Center (MPFC) since Oct. 9, the day work was scheduled to begin on the nearly $1 million renovation project at HFC.

About 25 of HFC's classes continue to be offered each week, according to Linda Williams, the center's assistant manager, including such favorites as Step Challenge, Cardio Kickboxing, Group Cycling, Pilates and Zumba. The latter is an aerobic fitness program fused with hypnotic Latin rhythms, which currently attracts anywhere from 35 to 85 people per class.

In addition, about 10 personal trainers are on hand to help guide workouts for active-duty Soldiers, civilians and their family members.

"What's happened is that we've had to learn to share space," Williams explained. "The people over at Martinez (Physical) Fitness Center have kindly given us a racquetball court for our trainers to use, and a basketball court for our group exercise classes.

"While we may not have the comforts of home, we still offer a full contingent of classes," she continued. "We've even added Tai Chi and Chi Gong (classes) to our schedule."

Despite the sometimes-crowded conditions at Martinez, participation in HFC classes has not dwindled but in fact grown to accommodate a fresh batch of recruits.

"Because we're in a different fitness center, there are people who are seeing what we offer, perhaps for the first time," Williams said. "We've been attracting some new faces to our classes, and that's exciting."

Just as exciting is the work currently being done to the historic HFC. Built in the 1930s, the center will have its two roofs removed in the coming weeks and replaced with a sturdier covering, known as standing seamless metal roofing. The renovation project will not only eliminate the water leaks that have plagued the gym for years, but also rid the site of the asbestos that currently lies between the existing roofs.

The renovation is expected to be complete in late January 2010, according to Daniel Padeken, HFC manager.

The center's wood floors will then undergo a deep cleaning and polishing, paving the way for the arrival of several new fitness machines, including Nautilus and Hammer Strength equipment.

Eventually, Padeken hopes to have the center's floors replaced.

"We've got some portions of it that are termite eaten," he said. "The work order has already been turned in for that job, so that's something that's going to be fixed down the road."

In the meantime, HFC staffers remain thankful for their current surroundings at MPFC, while eagerly awaiting a return to familiar confines in early 2010.

Or as Williams said, "We can't wait to return to our facility, where we'll have a nice, brand new roof waiting for us."

A current MPFC fitness class schedule can be downloaded at <a href=""></a>.

The MPFC is open Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 7 a.m-noon. Call 808-655-0900 for more information.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16