Senior Airman Tim McCoy, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, scales the treadwall in a climbing competition May 27 during the new Fitness Center's grand opening. Airman McCoy took first in the event by climbing the most number of revolutions within three minutes. Senior Airman Dave McComb, also of 741st MSFS, adjusts the speed of the moving rock wall. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Turner)
Chaplain (Capt.) Corwin Smith, 341st Missile Wing chaplain, spots while Staff Sgt. Emmanuel Booth, 341st MW chaplain's assistant, competes in a bench press competition May 27 during the new fitness center's grand opening activities. Sergeant Booth took first place in that event. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Turner)
by Senior Airman Dillon White
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office
5/29/2009 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- The new base fitness center officially opened May 27 shortly after 2 p.m. with the presentation of the building's key to the 341st Missile Wing commander and a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The building's "key" was a basketball signed by members of the Army Corps of Engineers and James Talcott Construction.
Army Lt. Col. Matthew Cadicano, Seattle District of the Army Corps of Engineers deputy commander, presented the ball to Col. Michael Fortney, 341st MW commander.
Following the pass play, the two teamed up with a giant pair of scissors to cut the ribbon.
The $12 million facility, which will eventually completely replace the existing fitness center built in 1956, was constructed with funding lobbied for by the Montana congressional delegation in 2007.
"The life for a facility such as this is approximately 50 years," said William McLaughlin, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron engineering flight chief. "So as you can see, the old facility had served its purpose and was ready for replacement."
When phase two construction is complete on the new facility, the new fitness center will include a new health and wellness center, an indoor swimming pool, racquetball courts, additional group exercise rooms and a staff office. This phase of construction is currently in the design process and no completion date for this project has been set Mr. McLaughlin said.
The old fitness center
Until phase two is complete, the fitness center staff is "definitely staying busy" operating both old and new facilities at the same time, said Master Sgt. Carmen Kubiak, 341st Force Support Squadron.
The fitness center staff's office, racquetball courts, cycle spinning classroom and aerobics room are still housed in the existing building. Locker rooms are closed in the old fitness center.
"We're going to take advantage of the empty space in the old fitness center," Sergeant Kubiak said. "We are going to move the spinning classroom into the cardio room, then move the aerobics room into the current spinning room."
The old weight machine room may also sport speed and heavy bags in the near future for people to throw a few punches during their workouts, Sergeant Kubiak said.
The new fitness center
"It's a lot brighter inside, the equipment is spread out more so people can work out without bumping into one another and you can run inside out of the wind," said Col. Roderick Davis, 341st Mission Support Group commander. "The fitness center does great things for the Malmstrom community. I encourage everyone to use and enjoy it."
To enter the new fitness center, people must walk through the old fitness center.
The first floor of the new facility houses weight machines, locker rooms, saunas, a massage area, basketball courts, a group exercise area and a seating area with couches and a table made from dumbbells and a basketball backboard.
"There is a lot more openness," Sergeant Kubiak said. "The staff is more visible, which is good because we are more available to our customers -- to give them pointers, help them with the equipment and answer questions."
The NCAA regulation-size basketball courts come with new rules, Sergeant Kubiak said.
"If people want to play basketball on the new courts, they have to wear court shoes so the court's finish won't get scratched," she said. "We have shelves for people to put their street shoes in, and if they don't have a pair of dedicated basketball shoes, they can play in the old fitness center courts."
Bleachers in the new gym seat 850 spectators and are opened electronically.
The second floor has cardio equipment, treadmills and a one-eighth mile running track with a continually running clock for runners to time their runs.
"We also set up pull-up bars on the corners of the track so people can cross train and change up their workouts to keep it interesting," she said.
The first floor houses a new piece of equipment that is half treadmill and half climbing wall. Hand and foot holds attached to a vertical treadmill place people on what amounts to a simulated rock face.
The machine moves only as fast as the climber, and its angle can be changed from a slope to an overhang.
Unlike a treadmill, the treadwall also senses when a person is at the bottom of the wall, and stops so climbers don't plummet (about a foot in distance) to the mat.
Adaptive motion trainers
The new AMTs are located at the front of the cardiovascular room on the second floor of the new fitness center.
These machines act as stair climbers and elliptical machines while adapting to the user's stride length, speed and direction of motion.
The fitness centers are open Monday to Friday from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Holiday and family-day hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on intramural sports and aerobics calendars, go to www.341fss.com.