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From left: Stan Simmons, ACE Engineering contractor; Joe Hunt, 95th Civil Engineering Division; Col. Gregory Schwab, 95th Air Base Wing commander; Brig. Gen. Robert C. Nolan II, Air Force Flight Test Center commander; Chief Master Sgt. Bill Thomaston, 95th ABW command chief; Carlos Bassut, 95th Force Support Squadron director; and Pete Smith, 95th FSS Edwards Fitness and Sports Center director, have the honor of breaking the first pieces of ground Nov. 8 for a new workout facility outside the Rosburg Fitness Center. Construction of the new facility – which will house free weights and high-intensity workout equipment – began Nov. 8 and is expected to be completed by June 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kate Blais)
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Team Edwards breaks ground on future workout space

Posted 11/30/2011   Updated 11/30/2011 Email story   Print story


by Kate Blais
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

11/30/2011 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Base leadership broke ground outside the Rosburg Fitness Center to prepare for the construction of a new workout facility for Team Edwards Nov. 8.

The new structure will offer Airmen additional workout space and provide more options to stay 'fit to fight.'

"We've asked our men and women in uniform to increase their physical fitness activities so they can stay 'fit to fight,'" said Brig. Gen. Robert C. Nolan, II, Air Force Flight Test Center commander.
"With a gym facility that was built in 1953, and is only one-third the size authorized, we put our folks at a disadvantage because we haven't given them the facilities to go along with what our new concept is. We want them to work out and we want them to have the best facilities to work out in," Nolan said.

In lieu of a new gym, which "isn't in the cards right now" due to budgetary constraints, said Pete Smith, 95th Force Support Squadron Edwards Fitness and Sports Center director, the new facility will free up space in the main facility for additional cardiovascular equipment.

"This type of building is very cost-effective and used by the military at locations downrange as well as stateside," said Richard Hoffa, 95th FSS, operations manager at the Rosburg Fitness Center. "There are several benefits to this structure, but primarily we will move our free weights into this building as well as some additional pieces of higher intensity workout equipment. This will allow us to open up our cardio room and add several additional pieces of cardio equipment allowing more Airmen at a time the ability to become 'fit to fight.'"

Construction of the facility began Nov. 8 and is expected last six months. A canopied walkway will connect the main fitness facility to the new structure, which will be located to the left of the main facility's entrance.

"It's 6,000 square feet and basically a huge dome," said Smith.

The addition of the new facility was proposed as a way to give Airmen a better place to work out and help improve their quality of life at Edwards. This, as well as other projects, contributes to the Airman's Campus complex.

"One of the things we're very concerned about here at Edwards is taking care of the young men and women on the base that live in the dorms," said Nolan. "So one of the things we want to do is make sure that the folks that do live in the dorms -- because we are so isolated and they may not have transportation -- we want to consolidate some services here in the dormitory area."

Further efforts to consolidate include the re-opening of the Joshua Tree Dining Facility; a roller hockey rink; two sand volleyball courts; an outdoor basketball court; indoor swimming pool; disc golf course; education center; auto hobby shop; craft center; community center; tickets and tours; library; credit union and movie theater, all within walking distance to Airmen and Marines in the dormitories.

At the fitness center specifically, improvements to quality of life have already been underway to include new lighting around the multi-purpose field in the center of the running track, a 13-station par course along the running trail, which has also been extended up to the Base Housing Office, and a new physical training pad to accommodate more units exercising at the same time.

"We're putting more into the unit PT programs," said Smith. "By doing all of the changes that we're doing here at the main fitness center and throughout the complex area, it gives them [Airmen] more options. Whether they're working out indoors or outdoors, it gives the units more options than just running." 

These improvements are part of an ongoing priority to improve quality of life for the Airman's Campus and the Edwards community as a whole.

"When I came on base for the first time last September," said Nolan, "one of the first things that I did was come over to the facility, and talk with Coach Pete [Smith] about how to revitalize this area so that we can give our Airmen, and our civilians, a better place to work out."

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