By G. Anthonie Riis | Fort Knox NewsDecember 4, 2018
FORT KNOX, Kentucky -- Starting Jan. 3, 2019, Fort Knox will shuffle its hours between three of the four physical fitness centers on the installation to address the demand placed on those facilities at various times throughout the day.
"We've got four physical fitness centers, and we're trying to respond to the signaled demand from Soldiers and units," said Randy Moore, director of the Fort Knox Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Currently, all the centers operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, with the difference being on the weekends. Moore said starting after the New Year adjustments need to be made to accommodate the needs of the community.
"We will now be able to meet the long standing request from Soldiers and units in the Natcher footprint to open on the weekends," said Moore. "Now, Natcher will be open seven days a week with weekend hours."
Moore said the changing hours will also mean changes to the new Functional Fitness Center at Otto Physical Fitness Center.
"An added benefit is that we will be able to open Otto Physical Fitness Center and its new Functional Fitness Center will be open seven days … to support and aid [Soldiers] in preparation of the Army's new [Army Combat Fitness Test,]" Moore said.
Moore said that facilitating the new gym hours means changes to operating hours at some of the physical fitness centers, but not all of them.
"We will close Smith Physical Fitness Center on the weekends. Right now, they have the least demand," Moore said. "There will be no impact to Gammon."
The changes are deliberate, according to Mark Wicker, chief of Community Recreation at DFMWR, who said they were planned with the intent to facilitate the most users at the most convenient times.
"In order to open Otto [and Natcher] on the weekend without incurring additional staffing and funding requirements, we had to make changes," Wicker said. "[The changes] will meet peak utilization time periods for the fitness centers of early morning [physical training] and the lunch hour."
Moore said that Smith Physical Fitness Center will reopen on weekends when cadet training begins again next summer.
Moore said everything DFMWR does is based on customer demand.
"Everything we do is in response to customer demand. We have standards we operate by and a level of funding provided to meet those standards," Moore said. "We've moved the pieces around to make the hours of operations work within our resources to meet that customer demand.
"How long the hours remain [in effect] will depend on customer feedback."