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Fort Bragg temporarily closing 3 gyms to cope with ongoing federal hiring freeze

In this January, 2012 file photo, soldiers lift weights at a gym on Fort Bragg

DAVID MCCARTHY/U.S. ARMY PHOTO

By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer (Tribune News Service) | Published: March 11, 2017

Fort Bragg is temporarily closing three physical fitness centers due to staffing shortages caused by the ongoing federal hiring freeze imposed by President Trump.

The installation's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation announced the closings via its Facebook page Thursday.

Blackjack, Funk and Hosking physical fitness centers will be closed starting Saturday, officials said.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our patrons of these three PFCs," the post said. "We will continue to operate the remaining 11 PFCs on normal business hours. We will update this page and our website when the facilities are scheduled to reopen."

The Blackjack Physical Fitness Center is on Goldberg Street on East Bragg.

Funk Physical Fitness Center is on Gruber Road near the intersection with Longstreet Road.

Hosking Physical Fitness Center is on Ardennes Road near the intersection of Normandy Drive.

According to Fort Bragg officials, staff assigned to those gyms will be temporarily reassigned to fill vacancies at other facilities across post.

"Three physical fitness facilities will close on Fort Bragg because the government hiring freeze and natural attrition of employees," Col. Brett Funck, Fort Bragg garrison commander, said in a statement. "The closures are temporary, but at this time we do not know when we will be able to reopen these facilities."

"We will keep stakeholders updated, your patience and understanding during this time is greatly appreciated," he added.

Trump's hiring freeze went into effect shortly after he took office in January.

While service members are exempt from the freeze, it does impact civilian positions on Fort Bragg.

Other military installations have previously reported reduced hours at child-care centers, but the closings of the physical fitness centers appear to be the first significant impact reported on Fort Bragg.

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©2017 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
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