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LTA Medina Fitness Center like Taj Majal

By James Coburn | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 20, 2006

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas — Lackland Training Annex workers, residents of base housing on LTA and, for that
matter, everyone on Lackland, now have a modern and spacious facility to
maintain their physical fitness since the new LTA Medina Fitness Center opened
last week.

"This is like the Taj Mahal compared to the old one," said Master Sgt. David
Vasquez, military and professional education training manager for the 67th
Operations Support Squadron, Air Intelligence Agency, as he exercised Tuesday in
a spacious room containing 25 cardiovascular exercise machines in the new center
about a half-mile in from the main gate on Medina Base Road.

A larger room boasts 29 strength machines and 20 free weight machines, and a
third room contains 25 spinning bikes.

The $6.6 million, 26,582-square-foot center has $300,000 in exercise equipment,
said Staff Sgt. Jermaine Johnson, NCO in charge. He said it is the only Lackland
center with a full-service juice bar, and it's also the only center with a
massage room. Amy Salas, a certified massage therapist, is available by
appointment.

Allison Pring, a dependent, was jogging on a treadmill Tuesday to stay in shape
for women's and coed softball on base and two teams off base. The center is
"nice, and it feels spacious," she said. "It's like the perfect setup," she
said, noting it is next to the Medina Running Track and near her residence in
Frank Tejeda Estates. She said her husband, Staff Sgt. Matthew Pring, 859th
Surgical Operations Squadron, said the old Medina center was "real small and
kind of cramped."

The new center's full-size basketball/volleyball court is not open yet, as its
wooden floor buckled when it expanded against the walls because of moist air
inside the building from the air conditioning. The floor's edges were cut away
to allow for expansion, but the floor is still springy in areas near the walls.

Fitness and Sports Director Steve Reichert said the contractor is being given 30
days to see if the floor levels out, and if not, repairs will have to be made.
Sergeant Vasquez said the old Medina center, now closed, "was bad. It was old.
The showers were small," he said. "You had to warn the people in the showers
that you were flushing the commode."

Sergeant Vasquez summed up the new center by saying, "This is nice. But there is
not enough parking."

In fact, all spaces were full at 7:35 a.m. Tuesday, plus other vehicles were
parked along the entryway curb and wherever else drivers could find a space.
Funding has been requested to provide more parking spaces, said Sergeant Johnson
and the facility manager, Dave Craig. He and Mr. Craig, who previously managed
the Chaparral Fitness Center for 4 1/2 years, said the original plans for the
new Medina center called for more parking and racquetball courts, but high bids
caused cutbacks.

The new facility also has locker rooms with individual shower stalls, 10 for men
and nine for women.

Hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday; and closed on holidays.