Gym addition makes room for fitness classes

Christine June, Story and photos
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***An additional 7,000 square-foot floor space was showcased to the public May 13 at the Landstuhl Fitness Center and Gymnasium.

“We’ve been trying to get a new fitness facility for the Landstuhl community since I’ve been in the KMC, and that’s been about five years,” said Robert L. Bigelow, the 415th Base Support Battalion Sports and Fitness chief.

The new addition is loaded with new fitness machines and an exercise floor, allowing for aerobics and spinning classes to go on sweating even if basketball players want to shoot some hoops.

Previously, fitness classes were held on the gymnasium floor so instructors had to make sure they didn’t interfere with basketball, volleyball or league plays, said Mr. Bigelow.

“Now, there’s a separate exercise floor that allows aerobic and spin classes to take place at the same time a basketball game is being played on the court,” he said. “We’ve also added more than $100,000 worth of new exercise and weight training equipment, and a customer-friendly service counter.”

This new equipment includes hammer strength, cardio-vascular and light-fitness machines, free weights and treadmills.

The new facility also sports a Vacu-Step machine, which uses an Elliptical Stepper that encloses the lower part of the body, placing it under pressure.

“This is the best thing that has been done to improve the quality of life for the people who live here since I have been here,” said Col. Rhonda Cornum, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center commander, who has been here for almost two years. “The gym is essential, and it’s particularly essential for us because we have so many people who come here as augmentees who don’t have cars to get to a facility of this kind elsewhere in the KMC.”

The Landstuhl gym project was a total renovation of a 1960s bowling center, which had been converted from a 1940s horse stable. The project cost about $650,000 and took almost a year to complete, according to Erhard Baumann, production control manager from ITT Federal Services, which is a 415th BSB Directorate of Public Works contractor.

“Wow! This is beautiful. I can’t believe the difference,” said Pat Watson, Landstuhl Library technician, who was checking out the new facility for her coworkers. “Now that it looks so good, I’m going to have to workout.”

The next step of the Landstuhl gym project is renovating the rest of the building to house the Landstuhl Health and Wellness Center. Herr Baumann said work is scheduled to start at the end of May and will take about 12 weeks to complete.

“I think it’s a long time coming, and we are very excited about it,” said Joyce Patrick, Landstuhl HAWC director. “We will now have the KMC state-of-the-art health and fitness center for our Soldiers and their families.”

The gym project is one of about 165 ongoing construction projects throughout the KMC Army casernes in the next five years with a cost estimate of more than $145 million said William Moncrieff, DPW engineer technician and operations officer.

“We’ve got to take care of the community since the Soldiers are out there doing their job,” said Mr. Moncrieff. “These projects let the Soldiers know that their families are being taken care of so they can perform their mission better.”

For information on fitness classes, call Gerd Backhaus at 486-8713.