A $30 million renovation project for the fitness center at Schriever Space Force Base outside Colorado Springs, Colo., was approved last month, giving Guardians stationed in the rural area access to a more modern gym after several years of struggling for updates to the building.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., reserved the project in the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2022. The funding was secured last month and will be crucial to maintaining morale, recruiting and readiness , an aide to the senator told Military.com.

“Our service members at Schriever are on call 24/7 – and the $30 million we secured in the government spending bill will meet the demands of the growing population on the base. and will support their readiness,” Bennet said in an emailed statement.

Read more : Air Force now offers up to $50,000 in enlistment bonuses for its most dangerous jobs

In the 1980s, just over 200 Air Force personnel called Schriever home. Today, more than 8,000 Guardians, contractors and other service members work from the Space Force base.

An aide to Bennet said the base’s rural location makes it difficult for Guardians to easily access a gym outside the fence, and Schriever’s gym is too small with the recent influx of military personnel into the facility. ‘facility.

The closest private gym options are in Colorado Springs, about 30 minutes away. Before becoming a Space Force installation last year, Schriever was an Air Force base focused on missile defense and satellite logistics.

When it was an Air Force base, the Schriever Fitness Center had been undergoing minor renovations for half a decade.

In 2017, rot and corrosion was seen behind the walls when the base began renovating the locker room showers. Previously, no changes had been made to the building since 2001, according to an Air Force press release at the time.

After the $30 million in funding was secured, a government contract soliciting bids for the renovations was posted online late last month. Project details show ambitious plans for the gymnasium.

The more than 5,000 square meters added to the gymnasium will include new construction and renovations for “an indoor running track, two large all-purpose basketball courts, a racquetball court, fitness areas, an outdoor exercise area group”, as well as updated men and women. cloakrooms.

Bennet told Military.com that securing funding for the project “was an opportunity for communities in Colorado, including our military communities, to directly inform Washington of their needs and concerns.”

A timeline for the completion of the renovations has yet to be released.

In the 2023 budget documents released last month, Space Force – which reports to the Air Force Department – ​​requested $24.5 billion, which represents an increase of almost 40% over the previous year. .

There was no construction estimate in the 2023 budget request for the Space Force, but the Air Force budget requested $68 million to build a dormitory at Clear Space Force Station in Denali, Alaska.

Many construction projects for the Space Force, such as renovations to the Schriever Fitness Center, will be funded by the state or Congress.

The construction of the Schriever Fitness Center also comes as the Space Force plans to scrap an annual fitness test and rely primarily on wearable fitness trackers by 2023.

While the Guardians await beta testing and rollout of the program, they will be required to take an Air Force physical fitness test in 2022 if they haven’t already.

— Thomas Novelly can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

Related: Space Force will rely on wearable fitness trackers by 2023, raising security and privacy concerns

Show full article

© Copyright 2022 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.