A groundbreaking ceremony to initiate the construction of the new Wilderness Road Fitness Center was held on Fort Carson, Colorado, Dec. 6, 2021.
Located near the Butts Army Airfield, The Wilderness Road Fitness Center allows the members of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade and the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team to move out of the temporary gym space currently being used and into a purpose-built facility. The fitness center will also be available for use by Soldiers and their families, Armed Forces servicemembers, and federal DoD civilians.
Designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District engineering branch, the building will meet the USACE requirements for new construction to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver rating. USACEs environmental programs and initiatives support the warfighter and military installations worldwide as well as USACE public recreation facilities throughout the country.
The fitness center’s primary sustainability feature is the extensive use of natural light in the facility. The entire gym is designed with non-composite concrete wall panels to provide a well-insulated building envelope to reduce heating and air conditioning loss.
“This could also include solar power, low flow water faucets and other sustainably obtained materials,” Heather Duggan, USACE Area Engineer for the Rocky Mountain Area, said.
According to the USGBC, LEED certified buildings worldwide had an estimated $1.2 billion in energy savings between 2015-2018. They also promote healthier occupants with cleaner air, access to daylight and being free from harmful chemicals often found in paints and finishes, all added benefits for a fitness center.
The 66,370 square-foot facility will include many new amenities, including a multipurpose gymnasium, an exercise room, free weights, an indoor running track, climbing wall and indoor rope course.
“This new facility provides for the new Soldier-Athlete Model, where it focuses on their cardiovascular fitness, but also their strength training,” John Buchanan, USACE Omaha District contracting officer representative, Fort Carson north resident office, said. “It will include a synthetic turf surface where they can drag sleds to train for the new Army Combat fitness test.”
The fitness center, valued in excess of $20M, is slated for completion in early 2023.
“This will benefit the soldiers that work on the south side of the post,” Duggan added. “Rather than having to drive 15-20 minutes to the north side of post to get to a fitness center, they will have a fitness center located by where they work and live. I know that the base and installation is super excited to get this for their soldiers out there.”
For more information on USACEs environmental program, please visit https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/.
For more information on the USBGC and the LEED program, please visit https://www.usgbc.org/
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