The Thew Gym will open next Wednesday on Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.

The Thew Gym will open next Wednesday on Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — No stiff-armed ribbon-cutting ceremony will open the new gym at Yokosuka Naval Base at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

There will be a ribbon, but it’s to be busted through, marathon-style, by the base brass. A starter gun will kick off the inaugural workouts in the new facility.

“This is the culmination of four years of hard work — it’s been a long time coming,” said Morale Welfare and Recreation Athletic Director Kyle Rhodus. “We’re excited to finally get this opened up for the Yokosuka community to enjoy.”

Tours will be given immediately following the opening. MWR fitness experts will be standing by to answer questions about the equipment. The event includes give- aways such as T-shirts, towels and water bottles. Plus, every day for the first month, gym-goers can enter to win a new fitness cycle.

The new gym — at this time called the Yokosuka Fitness Center — is 89,000 square feet and comfortably can handle hundreds of people. It features a 50-meter indoor pool, two full-sized basketball courts, three racquetball courts, a multipurpose room and an entire room dedicated to abdominal work and stretching. The cardiovascular room has stair climbers, treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines, mounted flat-screen television and premium sound systems.

The government of Japan designed the project and built the gym as part of the Japan Facility Improvement Program, which both governments coordinate. The U.S. government bought the equipment.

It will replace Thew Gym, which is more than half a century old.

The gym will be open for business from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week for anyone holding a military ID card. And except for recreational swim times at the Seahawk Natatorium, it’s free.

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