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Coming soon: an improved fitness center

Contracters pull down old ceiling material in the men’s locker room at the Patrick Air Force Base Fitness Center July 8 in preparation for installation of shower equipment as part of a $2.5 million renovation project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney)

Contracters pull down old ceiling material in the men’s locker room at the Patrick Air Force Base Fitness Center July 8 in preparation for installation of shower equipment as part of a $2.5 million renovation project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A $2.56 million military construction project to improve the Patrick Fitness Center is on track to be completed by the end of September.

The six-stage project is the biggest the Fitness center has seen since it was established in the early 1990's.

"A lot of the work being done is not visible, because it is hidden work in the ceilings and under ground sewer lines and the installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in the newly built maintenance rooms throughout the facility" said John Hickey, special project officer for the Fitness Center. Other needed improvements in addition to the new ventilation systems include upgrades to the sewage systems for the first time since the Center was built and of course, a fresh coat of paint.

Improvements have been completed for the women's locker room and it is serving as a temporary men's locker room while women are using the distinguished visitor's locker area. In the men's locker room work is at the halfway point, with preparations underway for installation of new shower equipment. Both locker rooms are slated to receive saunas, in accordance with Air Force requirements for base fitness centers.

New flooring is being installed throughout the facility, with tile and special rubberized floors replacing the old carpeting in the lobby and exercise, and weight room areas.

"We're trying to remove as much carpeting as possible," said Mr. Hickey. "Carpet absorbs moisture, this new rubberized flooring can be cleaned daily and prevent any moisture build up."

Mr. Hickey adds that this project will bring the Patrick Fitness Center in line with Air Force standards and provide a better quality of life facility for customers.