SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) patrons celebrated the grand opening of the Charles King Fitness Center (CKFC) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, guided tours of the facility, and demonstrations of fitness classes, April 30.
"This beautiful state-of-the-art facility fosters the culture of fitness that we want here at Naval Base Guam and helps our Sailors and commands meet one of their missions, which is to keep Sailors fit and ready at all times," said Cmdr. Kevin Gillam NBG Executive Officer.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Director Eric Nikkel said the total cost of the completed renovation phases and future renovation projects total more than $38 million. Renovations began in April 2009.
Nikkel said this investment ensures CKFC offers service members and their families unmatched access to any type of physical readiness training they need; from therapeutic recreation for wounded warriors to specific training regiments including combative training.
"The new Charles King gym is wonderful," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS/SW) Patrick Kohr, USS Frank Cable (AS 40). "I can't believe what they've done with this place. It's absolutely perfect, and it fits all our needs. This is the best gym I've seen in the military."
While physical fitness and conditioning are important to mission readiness, MWR Fitness Director Shelia Litty stressed that non-uniform patrons who are looking to maintain or improve their health will also benefit from the programs and services offered at CKFC.
"The idea was for any person to walk in the front door and everybody – no matter what age, gender or what fitness level they are – there was something here for them, and I hope that we've accomplished that," Litty said.
The fitness center also offers a family fitness room featuring a separate space for children to play. With three cameras set up in the playroom, parents can monitor their children while exercising. Parents whose children are registered at the NBG Child Development Center can also use the drop-in childcare service located at the facility for a fee.
"For our families, the center is extremely family friendly," Gillam said. "[It] encourages consistent use, offers extensive family programs and will set personal lifelong good fitness habits and goals."
Some other features added to the fitness center include more than 18,000 square feet of space for three basketball courts, a dance studio, brand new equipment for cardio and strength exercises, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a six-lane track with synthetic turf field and a fitness trail that traverses all around the facility.
Nikkel said the pool is special because it does not require heavy chemicals to treat the water. Instead the pool is salt-sanitized, which makes it easier to operate and safer for customers.
Navy spouse Jenell Daniels shared her excitement about the facility upgrades and additional features including a juice bar that is slated to open by Fall 2011.
"I came to see the new additions added," she said. "I wanted to see what they had done with the old gym. I like the dance studio. I love the pool, which actually opened up last fall; and the juice bar that's coming."
Future improvements include artificial turf projects at the Community and Ebbett Fields, which provide a site for many sporting and community events aboard NBG, and the addition of outdoor volleyball pits by the end of the year.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.