Patrons of Fort Jackson fitness facilities started paying for their classes Monday, based on a pricing strategy prompted by budgetary concerns, post officials said.

The official said the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation must charge customers in order to continue to offer the classes. It is necessary to introduce fees which will be used to pay the instructors.

"Basically the pricing is based on a combination of things; prices other military bases charge for classes, what private sector charges, and labor cost of our fitness instructors," said Darlene Hines, deputy operations chief for DFMWR.

The class payments come in the form of punch passes where participants have their card punched for every class they take. The classes can be taken at the leisure of each participant, but expire a year from the date of purchase.

Patrons can purchase a 10 class card for $50 ($5 per class), a 20 class card for $90 ($4.50 per class); or a 30 class card for $120 ($4 per class). Participants can also purchase one class at a time for $6 each.

The price structure was determined after studies were conducted of private sector businesses and feedback from focus groups.

"For example, we found that City Yoga charges $10 per class, Revolt cycle charges $7 per class if you are not a member, and Muv Fitness sells a day pass for $12," Hines said.

While fitness classes will cost money, gyms across post will remain free.

"It is important to note that the gyms are very separate from fitness classes," Hines said. Gyms are considered mission essential, while the fitness classes are an enhancement to the overall program that are no longer financially supplemented by funding.

"In order to continue to offer the fitness classes, we must be able to cover the labor of the instructors," Hines said. "If we are unable to collect the fees necessary, it is very likely that these classes could be discontinued."