FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Construction of the second phase of renovations at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility began April 5, another step of progress in the project to update the 34 year old building.

The final two phases of the 18-month project, the gymnasium and pool, have merged, according to Lori Ciranni, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Sports, Fitness and Aquatics program manager.

Whitesell-Yates construction members began work on the pool and locker room areas earlier this week to ensure the pool's availability for the indoor swimming season in October, she said.

During the second phase, construction crews remove tile around the pool and replace it with blue-colored concrete, said Fred Schofield, Whitesell-Yates project superintendent. The pool bottom also receives new tile, while crews install new lockers in the locker room, he added.

The steam rooms and showers also get facelifts, and all walls receive fresh coats of paint, Schofield said. Out of all the steps in the project, he noted demolition of the poolside tile is the most time-consuming aspect.

Locker rooms and shower facilities have been moved to portable trailers on the Gladiator Street side of the PFF track while crews tackle the second phase.

The Flynn Pool, an outdoor facility, has opened to accommodate on post swimming enthusiasts. The pool is open Mondays-Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays-Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Water aerobics classes are the only ones ongoing at the time, but other DFMWR classes resume in May and June at the Flynn Pool, said Jon Cole, DFMWR aquatics manager.

The first phase - remodeling of the facility's center section - continues. The PFF offices and front desk remain in their current locations near the alternate front entrance until that section, which includes the racquetball courts and the sauna, is completed, Ciranni said.

"Phase I is still not to a point that you can say how it looks. It is coming along and should be outstanding when complete," she said.

Ciranni expects construction crews to finish the first phase in two months. After that, crew members begin work on the gymnasium, where they will replace ceiling tiles and flooring, and repaint the walls.

For more information, call Ciranni at 255-9567.