PEARL HARBOR, HI -- The Navy broke ground last week on a $24 million fitness center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The 63,636-square-foot facility is slated for completion in November 2011.

Designed to serve up to 18,000 patrons per month, the new fitness center will become the main gym on the Pearl Harbor side of the joint base once it’s finished. In addition to increasing fitness levels, Navy officials also hope the new center will boost morale.

“By building these new, state-of-the-art facilities with the latest in fitness equipment, it will make it easier for sailors, airmen and their families to improve their physical readiness and boost morale,” Tom Moriarty, Navy Region Hawaii's Morale, Welfare and Recreation director, said in a statement.

The center will host two combination basketball and volleyball courts, a large workout area with strength and cardio equipment, and two racquetball courts.

Expected to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, the new fitness center will include green elements, such as recycled construction materials, solar photovoltaic arrays and drought-tolerant landscaping.

“In accordance with federal mandates, the new fitness center will be LEED certified and have all the amenities of a modern sports club,” Ryan Go, Navy Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii project manager, said in a statement. “The centralized and open air design allows patrons to easily choose from a wide range of fitness activities and equipment without having to go to separate facilities.”

The design-build contract for the new center was awarded to Kiewit Building Group, Inc. of Honolulu. Architectural firm Next Design LLC, Honolulu, will handle planning and design.