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News > Fitness center receives $4.5 million facelift, reopens at Homestead
Sam Johnson Fitness Center
Treadmills, stationary bicycles, and flat screen TV's are all part of the $4.5 million newly renovated Sam Johnson Fitness Center that reopened at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., on May 27. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aja Heiden)
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Homestead fitness center reopens after $4.5 million facelift

Posted 6/10/2014   Updated 6/10/2014 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Aja Heiden
482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/10/2014 - HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla.  -- After $4.5 million in renovations, the Sam Johnson Fitness Center, which is named after the highly decorated Air Force fighter pilot who flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, reopened here May 27.

The renovations to the five-star fitness center included a 1,200 square-foot expansion, and visitors of the facility can now enjoy a wider range of amenities. Although this is a facility aimed at keeping our service members fit-to-fight, the center also features spa-like amenities such as steam rooms, a masseuse, smoothie bar and a lounge area, soon to be equipped with a television.

The facility is equipped with yoga and Pilates gear, two racket ball courts, a basketball court, a weight room with traditional free weights, and a cardio workout room.

Visitors are already taking note of the renovations and upgrades, including members of Team Homestead tenant units. U. S Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Bryant, Information Systems Technician at Base Miami Beach, and his son recently checked-out the new facility and commented on the new equipment, saying they enjoyed the range of options and machines.

"We are ecstatic to be in the new facility! It is great to see people playing basketball and racquetball again," said Paul Calain, 482nd Services Fitness and Sports Manager.

Currently the fitness center is open from 6:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Unit Training Assembles, or UTAs, the center is open Saturdays from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sundays from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. These hours are subject to change based on base needs, added Calain.

The fitness center plans to be the first on a reserve base that adapts to a 24 hour schedule to meet the needs of members of Team Homestead.

"This would reduce large crowds at peak hours and permit those who work shift work or night hours an opportunity to work out in our facility," explained Calain.

Fitness is a key component of every service member's job. It is their responsibility to be mission ready at all times.

"Airmen are to be proficient at their job and to be fit for deployment at any moment. If an Airman is not fit, they hold themselves back and they hold their teams back from completing the mission," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Kelley, a member of the 482nd Force Support Squadron and one of the many physical training leaders, or PTLs, who administer the U.S. Air Force's version of the physical fitness test.

As a PTL, Kelley is responsible for monitoring members during their test, which includes a one-and-a-half mile run, abdominal circumference, sit-ups and push-ups.

While the fitness center staff is developing a schedule of fitness activities, the equipment and machines are available for members of Team Homestead, local law enforcement officials, and dependents with identification cards.

Children ages 13 and older are allowed to use the racket ball courts and the basketball court as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Adolescents age 16 and older are permitted to use the other amenities at the fitness center if they are accompanied by an adult.

To schedule an appointment with the masseuse or for more information, call the fitness center at (786) 415-7091.

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