ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA – After three needs surveys, the fitness center at Robins Air Force Base is making fitness a family affair. Once an old racquetball court in disrepair, the new family fitness room is a safe haven for parents and children.

The room provides parents the freedom to work out and watch their children at the same time, said John Enterman, the fitness center director. Enterman said the idea for the room stemmed from three needs surveys including two done locally.

Samantha Zuniga, a military wife and mother of two, said the room makes it easy to exercise.

“We’re so proud and so happy about it,” she said. “It gives the parents who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to use the gym an opportunity to come and bring their children without having to find day care -- which is nearly impossible.”

Parents have wanted something like this for years, Zuniga said. Five-year-old Mercer Zuniga agreed.

“I like playing and bouncing around,” he said.

Although other Air Force bases have family fitness rooms, Enterman said they took the idea a bit further. Using quality-of-life funds, the construction cost of the new room was $25,000 and another $44,000 went towards furnishing the room with high-tech workout equipment, murals and child-safe furniture. The end result was a 20-foot-by-17-foot child play area and a 33-foot-by-20-foot workout room separated by a glass partition. The workout area is complete with six cardio machines all of which have built in monitors with touch screens that are cable ready, so parents can watch their favorite TV programs while they are working out and can also have a direct view of their children.

“Everything was constructed up to child development center standards as far as safety goes,” Enterman said. “We welcome children ages 6 months to 8 years, and there is a special parking area for strollers.”