By Mario T. Icari, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs Office
CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest, RQ Construction, Navy Region Southwest (NRSW), and members of Naval Base Coronado's (NBC) community witnessed a ceremonial ribbon cutting May 11 to formally open the newly constructed fitness center at NBC Naval Air Station North Island.
"At Naval Base Coronado, two old buildings; the warehouse gym and the main fitness center were built 1943 and 1948 respectively and had a few updates," said CAPT Chris Sund, NBC commanding officer and a speaker during the ceremony. "For the last 70 years the Navy hasn't added any fitness facility before this one. In fact our base swimming pool doubled as our combat tank for our air crewmen and survival swimmers, and our liberty center was designed originally as a laundromat. We've been doing what Sailors have been doing over the years and have been making it work. This facility represents 70 years of evolution and leap into a purpose and design built with our sailors' input."
The newly constructed fitness center provides Navy personnel with an 89,502 square foot fitness center, a 3,746 square foot Olympic size pool, and a 16,673 square foot single sailor center. The new facility provides basketball and volleyball courts with spectator seating, racquetball courts, artificial turf softball, football, and soccer fields. The fitness center also includes multiple specialized exercise classrooms and locker rooms. The new fitness center increases the number of programs available to sailors including artificial turf softball, football, and soccer fields, a handicap accessible 50-meter lap pool, and an increased amount of traditional exercise equipment.
Sailors in the Metro San Diego area have access to a state of the art facility consolidating multiple Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) functions into a single, central facility in Coronado. The new liberty center provides sailors with multiple recreation opportunities including an electronic gaming room, movie theater, television lounges, computer lounge, and access to free Wi-Fi connectivity.
"This is the largest, newest, best fitness center in the Navy and it rivals anything outside of the gate," said Ron Vogel, Region Southwest Fleet and family readiness officer. "There is no doubt that the 500,000 customers that use North Island fitness facilities are going to benefit from this facility."
The facility incorporates many energy saving initiatives such as maximizing the use of daylight throughout the building, high insulated windows and wall systems, solar pool and domestic water heaters, and a 337 kW photovoltaic panel array.
NAVFAC Southwest awarded RQ Construction a $43.9 million contract to construct the fitness center on Aug. 7, 2012.
"The one word that comes to mind when I look at this facility is teamwork -- the teamwork of everyone that was a part of this and the people who made this dream come to life," said Cmdr. Michael Meno NAVFAC Southwest public works officer at Naval Base Coronado.
NAVFAC Southwest personnel who worked on this project were Project Manager Norman Sakara, Design Manager Billy Sandros, Construction Managers Lt. Russell Glass and Jacob Wittler, Engineering Technician Rory Van Nuis, and Contracting Officer Patricia Darienzo.