FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (May 17, 2012) -- This week, Gaffney Fitness Center rolled out its updated schedule of courses, the result of a contract that will provide new instructors for aerobics and fitness classes.

Patrons now will be required to purchase a $65 aerobics card for unlimited classes during an eight-week span, or pay a $5 drop-in charge per class. Officials at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation say the fee is comparable to local gyms and other installations.

"We compared what some of the local military installations are charging and aligned our fees with them," said Wendy Gibbs, chief of community recreation with DFMWR. "We are a little cheaper than Fort Belvoir and comparable to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall [both in Virginia]."

The new cost for classes will cover the instructors' wages and new equipment for the courses.

One advantage of the new contract is that it will provide stability for Gaffney's programs.

In the past, certified volunteers taught the courses at no charge. The arrangement, however, occasionally resulted in canceled classes or a change in schedule.

"We were having quite a few issues with some of the volunteers in terms of canceling classes, showing up late or no-shows," Gibbs said. "We didn't have a consistent class schedule as they were changing every other week. This created some customer service issues."

Most of the volunteer instructors were invited to continue to teach their classes and get paid.

"Our volunteer instructors are as good as it gets in terms of certifications and the desire to give back to their community," Gibbs said. "We wanted this to be a seamless transition for the volunteer instructors and the customers they serve."

The contract also brings flexibility to the new schedule.

Lauren Williams, acting chief of Athletics, Fitness and Aquatics for the DFMWR, said the schedule will run on an eight-week cycle, with the option to change the schedule at the end of each cycle. With this format, Gaffney is not limited to the number or types of classes offered.

Water aerobics, yoga and power pump are the three new classes that will be introduced during the first cycle. Popular programs, including early morning spin classes and Zumba, will continue to be offered.

Power Pump, a complete body muscle-conditioning workout using bands, dumbbells and body bars, will be offered three times during the week.

Yoga, which helps develop strength, muscle tone and flexibility, will be instructed Mondays and Thursdays.

Water aerobics classes that consist of a series of workouts including running, jumping jacks, and leg and arm movements, also will be offered twice a week.

Officials will design the schedules based on patron feedback through customer surveys.

"We will review our schedule in approximately three weeks and put out a survey to determine what classes our customers like, what they would like to see and what times they would like them," Gibbs said. "This will assist us with making the necessary changes to meet our patrons' fitness needs."

Page last updated Thu May 17th, 2012 at 16:13