Women's locker room gets facelift

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The ladies' locker room at the Skelton Memorial Fitness Center is getting a facelift.

The 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron will begin renovations Oct. 3. These renovations are scheduled to take about eight weeks and should be completed the first week of December.

Renovating the locker room was one of the 10 items selected by the 52nd Fighter Wing commander and his panel of advisors to be funded with money from the $1 million the base received after winning the Installation Excellence Award.

"We're going to take out some of the existing aesthetics and replace them with new (ones)," said Capt. Jimmy Oxendine, CES operations support.

Women can expect to see new floor tile, new toilets and sinks, new partitions, and new wall tile when the locker room re-opens. The civil engineers also plan on fixing the shower flooding issue and adding new showers.

"Our structure shop and the plumbers are actually working hand in hand to (demolish) the whirlpool, and in that area, they're going to add two additional showers," Oxendine said.

This change will increase the locker room's shower capacity from four to six showers, and the shower area will also receive new flooring, new plumbing, and new shower partitions.

All the materials are here, and the labor is ready to begin this project.

"Like any other construction project, you can get started and come across something you didn't foresee," the captain said. "We have to always keep that in mind."

The total cost of this renovation is about $50,000, and it's an in-house civil engineer project.

"We're trying to get the shops more involved to get hands-on-training in their skill craft," Oxendine said.

While the renovation is going on, women will be using the female distinguished-visitor locker room to change and shower in. This locker room is about half the size of the regular-use locker room.

According to Master Sgt. Hugh Watson, 52nd Force Support Squadron fitness center section chief and acting director, women can expect longer waits and lines for the showers.

He also requests women cut their shower times to five minutes because during the facilities peak hours there can be 200 people working out between the fitness center, the Combat Fitness Center and outdoor activities.

The fitness center staff has asked female customers to plan accordingly, and there are many things they can do to limit the impact of the renovation on their workouts. One of the main things is to plan their workout times during non-peak hours.

Non-peak hours are 9 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Squadrons are now coming to the fitness center during the duty day to do unit physical training, and the fitness center staff is staring to see more use of the facility from 4 to 6 p.m.

With some prior planning and basic common courtesy, daily workouts should not adversely affect women working out at the fitness center during this renovation.