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The Navy spent more the $850,000 on new equipment for the new gym, which opened after several delays.

The Navy spent more the $850,000 on new equipment for the new gym, which opened after several delays. (Sandra Jontz / S&S)

The Navy spent more the $850,000 on new equipment for the new gym, which opened after several delays.

The Navy spent more the $850,000 on new equipment for the new gym, which opened after several delays. (Sandra Jontz / S&S)

Katholeen Sullivan was the first customer to enter the brand new Fitness Forum gym at the Gricignano support site in Naples, Italy, which opened Monday.

Katholeen Sullivan was the first customer to enter the brand new Fitness Forum gym at the Gricignano support site in Naples, Italy, which opened Monday. (Sandra Jontz / S&S)

NAPLES, Italy — It was like Christmas in January on Monday for Petty Officer 2nd Class Ricky Dyer, who has been “waiting ages” for a gym to open at the Gricignano support site, where the Navy placed its housing units.

The 32-year-old surgical technician at the hospital across the street from the Fitness Forum said he couldn’t be more appreciative of the convenience the new state-of-the-art facility now affords him. Before Monday’s grand opening, he’d have to drive the roughly 20 minutes to the Capodichino base for a workout.

“This is great. I’ve been waiting a long, long time for this place to open,” Dyer said.

The only downside Dyer could see was the close proximity of all of the weight-training equipment.

“When it’s crowded, they might be too close for comfort,” he said.

Katholeen Sullivan was the gym’s very first customer, arriving at 6 a.m. on the dot to sneak in a 30-minute workout before her four children went off to school, she said.

The Navy spent more than $850,000 on new equipment, which includes “cardio theaters” where customers can plug in earphones to hear music, news or sports on the upright and recumbent exercise bikes and stair steppers, said Dominick Corrado, sports and fitness director. Eventually, the treadmills and cross-trainers each will have its own 17-inch plasma television for workout entertainment, he said.

The facility boasts an outdoor pool, two racquetball courts, a spin room with 26 stationary bikes, an aerobics room, free weight room, circuit weight area, cardio area, and men’s and women’s locker rooms with dry saunas.

The basketball court is lined for competition and intramural play and will have six backboards and three volleyball set-ups.

The pool, with eight lanes, a one-meter diving board, and a 50-foot slide in the deep end, will open Memorial Day weekend (May 28) and operate through Labor Day. The pool features an outdoor Jacuzzi and a children’s pool. The pool will have seasonal water aerobics, swim lessons, water exercise and military lap swim.

Gym hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and American holidays.

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