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The new gym at Atsugi Naval Air Facility has individual televisions and DVD players for the cardio machines and an open-air feeling from the large windowed rooms.
The new gym at Atsugi Naval Air Facility has individual televisions and DVD players for the cardio machines and an open-air feeling from the large windowed rooms. (Jim Schulz / S&S)

ATSUGI NAVAL AIR FACILITY, Japan — After a six-month renovation, the fitness center next to Halsey Gym reopened last month with brighter workout spaces and better entertainment options.

The renovation consolidated three smaller workout facilities and created a more unified and comfortable place for sailors, family members and Department of Defense civilians to work out.

“It looks a lot nicer now,” said Ken York, the athletic director for Atsugi’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation department.

The renovation brought together cardio machines, free weights and other machines that had been scattered among Halsey Gym and two 800-square-foot former racquetball courts across the street.

One of the former courts, Building 407, was expanded into a 2,100-square-foot building with an upstairs “tatami” room for martial arts classes and two glass-enclosed wings.

One wing houses cardio machines such as treadmills. The other wing and the central area are used for free weights, machines, and bikes.

The glass has automatic retractable screens to block the sun on warm days. “It’s nice to be able to see a little more of the outside to help take your mind off working out,” said Ensign James Carr, a physician’s assistant with Branch Medical Clinic, Atsugi. “I’m glad it was renovated.”

MWR also installed entertainment machines on the cardio equipment. The machines have small 14-inch screens and earphone jacks and play DVDs, CDs or broadcast cable television.

“People are really excited about the DVD player,” York said. “Especially on the cardio side. You have something to look at, either the TV screen or outside.”

The renovations included new carpeting and rubber mats to lessen noise and prevent damage from dropped weights.

The facility is close to many offices and the main gate, across the base from the larger Ranger Gym. “It’s so close to the BMC (branch medical clinic) we’re able to get over there for lunch and after work,” Carr said.

He said the facility consolidates everything into one convenient location, but it’s a little tight even after the renovation. The building has about 20 cardio machines spaced fairly close together. It’s also across the road from Halsey Gym, where the men’s and women’s locker rooms and a basketball court are located.

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