Hill’s new fitness center opens

A climber tries out the new indoor rock climbing wall during Monday’s grand opening ceremony for Hill’s new state-of-the-art fitness center.

A climber tries out the new indoor rock climbing wall during Monday’s grand opening ceremony for Hill’s new state-of-the-art fitness center.

HILL AFB, UT -- Exercising will be a lot more exciting for Team Hill members as Hill's hotly anticipated $13 million fitness center officially opened for business Monday.

The new facility, located south of the existing Hess Fitness Center, is a two story building with more than 72,000 square feet and will be open to all authorized ID card holders.

The new complex will be a major step up from the old Hess Fitness Center. The new complex will feature exercise rooms, locker rooms that include steam rooms and saunas, racquetball courts, a juice bar, a 40-foot by 25-foot rock climbing wall, an indoor running track, two new NCAA-regulation-style basketball courts and administrative space.

The center also features the new Precor line of strength training equipment, 30 treadmills - each with a 15-inch freestanding flat panel monitor with Comcast cable, and yoga and palates rooms.

"During last week's commanders conference for the Air Force Material Command, some of us had an opportunity to try this facility out," said Maj. Gen. Kevin Sullivan, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander. "Needless to say, we have lots and lots of jealous commanders out there because this is truly the best fitness center in AMFC."

As far back as 1999 the Air Force assessed fitness centers service-wide, and developed a road-map to replace or renovate many of them.

In April of 2004 the Defense Authorization Act of 2005 provided more than $41 million in funding for five major projects at Hill, including the new fitness center.

Money was also raised during last September's "Salute to Our Hometown Military Heroes of Davis and Weber Counties" Gala. The Gala went on to raise more than $100,000 that toward the purchase of approximately two-thirds of the center's fitness equipment.

"This fitness center symbolizes the fantastic relationship we have with our community," said Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander. "Team Hill truly gets excellent community support in literally everything we do."

The hours of operation for the new facility are the same as the old Hess Fitness Center: 4:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Team Hill also plans to host a focus group to determine how to best design a new capability in the Hess Fitness Center that will allow spouses to exercise while watching their children. The plan is to use two existing racquetball courts and turn them into an exercise room for spouses and a playroom for the children. Spouses interested in participating in the focus group should contact Karen Wright at 777-2761.