MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, MT -- A new fitness center at Malmstrom Air Force Base, MT, is getting closer to completion. The first phase of the 80,000-square-foot center should be completed by February. The groundbreaking for the $12 million center took place in April 2007.

The new center will have a 1/8-mile suspended indoor track, two NCAA-size basketball courts, volleyball courts, weightlifting and aerobic equipment, saunas, regular locker rooms and special locker rooms for distinguished visitors. A swimming pool and other amenities will come in a second phase of construction that will take place in a few years, according to the Great Falls (MT) Tribune. Local media recently got a sneak peak at the new fitness center.

Airmen currently work out in a fitness facility that was built at Malmstrom more than 50 years ago. Margaret Treland, chief of the Air Force Fitness Branch, says most Air Force fitness facilities as late as 10 years ago were more than 30 years old. Since 2000, the Air Force has been following through on an initiative to build new facilities, and there are about two or three construction projects set aside every fiscal year, Treland says.

“The Air Force still sees fitness as a mission-essential requirement, providing a good service for both the military troops as well as the civilian employees,” Treland says.