FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- It's often loud at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility these days, but to some, the ear-shattering noises of jackhammers and wall demolition are sounds of progressing upgrades to provide better services.

For more than a month, Whitesell-Green, Inc./Yates and Sons construction crews have ripped up flooring and removed walls in several PFF rooms as part of an 18-month renovation project. The project improves safety and the quality of services offered once finished, said Lori Ciranni, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's sports fitness and aquatic program manager.

Through early spring, construction crews will work on the first of three phases. During the current phase, the main lobby, physical fitness room, administrative offices, and racquetball and squash courts are being renovated.

Currently, the physical fitness room demolition is nearly complete, while walls from the racquetball and squash courts have been removed. Crews are also removing tile from the main lobby.

The construction plan remains on schedule, said Whitesell-Green, Inc./Yates and Sons project superintendent Fred Schofield, attributing the progress to great teamwork between DFMWR staff, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and visitors.

While renovations occur in the middle section, DFMWR staff relocated their offices to a conference room near the natatorium. Construction crew members moved the physical fitness and weight equipment to the gymnasium.

Pool users enter through an alternate front entrance, and patrons using the physical fitness equipment enter through the gym's front door. Ciranni noted people adjusted well to the building layout and other changes.

"They've been very patient. Patrons are not too affected by the transition," she said, noting the current setup lasts until the beginning of the second construction phase, which involves the gym.
Ciranni also said patrons are enjoying the more spacious physical fitness area created by the equipment's move to the gym.

Construction continues through the holiday break except for Christmas and New Year's Day, when the PFF closes.