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Construction on fitness center begins with ground breaking

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the base fitness center pose at the site of the new base fitness center on Jan. 16. The new base fitness center is slated to open sometime in the spring of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo / A1C Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the base fitness center pose at the site of the new base fitness center on Jan. 16. The new base fitness center is slated to open sometime in the spring of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo / A1C Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander, speaks with members involved in the construction of the new base fitness center at it's site on Jan. 16. The new base fitness center is slated to open sometime in the spring of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo / A1C Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander, speaks with members involved in the construction of the new base fitness center at it's site on Jan. 16. The new base fitness center is slated to open sometime in the spring of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo / A1C Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt. Col. David Piech 30th Civil Engineer Squadron commander (left), Col. Benjamin Huff, 30th MSG commander (center) and Command Chief Master Sgt Cari Kent of the 30th Space Wing (right) break the ground at the new fitness center site on Jan. 16. The new base fitness center is slated to open in the spring of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo / A1C Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt. Col. David Piech 30th Civil Engineer Squadron commander (left), Col. Benjamin Huff, 30th MSG commander (center) and Command Chief Master Sgt Cari Kent of the 30th Space Wing (right) break the ground at the new fitness center site on Jan. 16. The new base fitness center is slated to open in the spring of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo / A1C Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Base leadership, along with several members of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron and the 30th Services Division participated in the ground breaking ceremony for Vandenberg's new fitness center on Jan. 16.

The new site will be located just feet away from the old facility, and the location of the center won't change that much, the center itself is getting a massive upgrade.

" The center will have two full size NCAA basketball courts, with bleachers to seat 400 people, a juice bar, two massage rooms, saunas and over $8,000 worth of new cardio equipment," said Mark Stough, a member of the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment. "The construction cost for the facility is marked at around $15.5 million."

The center will not only have new equipment, but it will also have a much more modern touch with features like glass walls in the cardio room to give runners a better view, he said.

The project managers have been working to not only begin construction but also to preserve the environment during the planning stages. It was made a top priority to save as many trees as possible, said Don Popma, a 30th CES base project manager.

The ground breaking ceremony also marked a historical event for Vandenberg.

"This is the first time Vandenberg has ever worked with AFCEE," said Charlie Friend, an AFCEE member and construction manager for the building. "It is something we look forward too very much."

AFCEE provides a complete range of technical and professional services in environmental and installation planning and engineering, and military housing construction and privatization, according to www.afcee.af.mil.

The project, which is expected to be finished in March 2009, will require several levels of base participation. Members from CES, SVS and base contracting have all helped in this process.