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Fort Wainwright begins work on new fitness center/field house

Architectural rendering of Fort Wainwright's new 80,000-square-foot fitness center and field house.
Fort Wainwright
Architectural rendering of Fort Wainwright's new 80,000-square-foot fitness center and field house.

Facility will ‘meet the needs’ of post's soldiers, civilians

Fort Wainwright officials will break ground this morning on a $72 million fitness center and field house. The facility will help soldiers and civilians keep fit year-round.

The fitness center and field house will enable soldiers, Army civilians, retirees and their family members a place to work out without worrying about winter cold or summer wildfire smoke.

“So this new facility will allow soldiers to run inside on a smoky day like today, or in the winter when it's 40 below. And they can run safely and comfortably indoors,” says Eve Baker, a Fort Wainwright spokesperson.

Baker says when the 80,000-square-foot facility opens two years from now, it’ll be especially helpful for soldiers, who must maintain a high level of physical fitness.

“We do have a few fitness facilities on Fort Wainwright already,” she said, “but none of them meet the needs of year-round indoor training, specifically allowing running and training for the Army (Combat) Fitness Test.”

Baker says the field house is being built next door to one of those older facilities, and will become part of what’s now called Fryar Fitness Complex. The new facility will have many upgraded features, like a 200-meter elevated indoor running track.

“It will also have a synthetic turf field for various sporting events and games,” she said, “and dedicated cardio and weight-training equipment, as well as locker rooms, laundry facilities ...”

The new field house will be more than twice as big as the Carlson Center arena, and Baker says access to it will include anyone authorized to use facilities managed by the post’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation or MWR office.

Tim Ellis has been working as a KUAC reporter/producer since 2010. He has more than 30 years experience in broadcast, print and online journalism.