FORT CARSON, Colo.-Officials held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 16 for a new $31.6 million state-of-the-art fitness center scheduled to open in January 2012.

Located at Specker Avenue and Victory Loop, the 92,496 square foot facility is a demonstration of Fort Carson leadership's commitment to providing a high quality of life for its Soldiers and their Families, said Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.

"(This facility) is an act of dedication to our Soldiers and Families and commitment that we are all about making them the best Soldier they can be and the best Family member they can be," Perkins said.

He noted fitness is a big part of being a Soldier and that physical fitness plays into mental fitness, which ultimately plays into one's resiliency.

Perkins said plans originally called for the facility to be part of a new sports complex on Wilderness Road near Butts Army Airfield, but was relocated to its current site to ensure the Fort Carson community could take advantage of its central location within the cantonment area. The Wilderness Road sports complex will still feature a half-mile running track surrounding a soccer and playing field, and two softball fields as part of the overall project.

"When it comes to fitness, whether on the playing field or the battlefield, fitness is a huge part of our tradition as a fighting force," said Col. Robert F. McLaughlin, garrison commander.

He noted leadership's commitment to fitness is visible across the Mountain Post, as running trails and physical training pits are being constructed and fitness facilities expanded.

The new fitness center will be part of the Fort Carson Resiliency Campus, McLaughlin said. Forrest Physical Fitness Center will be transformed into the Forrest Resiliency Center, providing patient care and education, weight management, tobacco cessation, exercise instruction and community outreach services. The campus will also feature a child development center and behavioral health clinic. All three facilities are scheduled to open in March 2012.

Facility highlights
The new facility at Fort Carson is going to be one of the best fitness centers in the Colorado Springs area, according to Matt Ellis, resident engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District.
The fitness center will include:
- A "zero entry" pool, that gradually slopes from the deck into the water to allow for therapy swimming, and a children's water play area
- A lap pool with diving area
- Men's, women's and Family locker rooms
- Free weight and weight machine rooms
- Cardio exercise area
- Fitness class rooms
- Climbing and bouldering walls
- Gymnasium that can be configured with one main court or three intramural courts
- Hanging one-tenth of a mile indoor running track
- Two racquetball courts
- Refreshment area
- Administration spaces
- Laundry facilities

Ellis said the facility was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Silver ratings by using "green" materials, making it energy efficient and taking advantage of more day lighting.

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