Monday, October 25, 2021

Naval Base Coronado Opens Largest Fitness and Liberty Center in the Navy (Photo Tour)

Naval Base Coronado Commanding Officer Captain Chris Sund welcomed a decent and excited crowd at the May 11, 2015, ribbon cutting ceremony for the new multi-million dollar Naval Base Coronado Fitness and Liberty Complex (NASNI Building 1507).

Six years in the making, the new facility first became a possibility when former MCPON (Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy) Rick West visited Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) in April 2009 and toured the existing facilities. He stated that the fitness facility he visited was “the worst in the Navy.”

After putting his observations in writing, the process for a new complex commenced. Awarded to contractor RQ Construction in August 2012, the project is finished over two months ahead of schedule.

Captain Sund pointed out that the replaced Main Gym and the Warehouse gym were both built in the 1940’s. The former Liberty Center was originally a Laundromat. For over 65 years, “Sailors have been doing what sailors do. We’ve been making it work.” He also shared that the new facility has “been built on the backs of my predecessors.”

Both Captain Sund and RQ Construction VP Don Rogers used the word collaboration when referring to the process of constructing the new space. There was an enormous amount of teamwork and partnership and a true commitment to be successful that made the project a reality.

The entrance area is staffed by MWR employees and features electronic monitors for check in.

Mr. Ron Vogel, Fleet and Family Readiness Director for Navy Region Southwest noted that the new complex is “the largest, newest and best fitness center in the Navy.” He also noted that, “While the building is first class, it is just another facility without MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) infusing a heartbeat into it,” which is a definite compliment to the staff who will keep operations running smoothly.

Weight machines and free weights are located on the first floor, as well as a relaxation area with charging outlets.

The positives of the new facility are many. There are some 500,000 visitors expected to take advantage of the new complex over the next year. Naval Base Coronado (NBC) and its eight geographically separate areas amass over 60,000 acres and 1,400 buildings. There are 142 tenant commands and more than 30,000 military and civilian personnel supported by NBC. It was also acknowledged that Coronado is unique because of the excellent relationship the base has with the City and the number of retirees who reside here and will therefore benefit from the new facility. The complex is also a good value for taxpayer dollars, utilizing many energy saving initiatives. There is drought tolerant landscaping and artificial turf to save water. There are 337kW solar panels and high R-value insulated windows and wall systems as well as maximization of daylight used throughout.

A different view of the weight area with the gymnasium to the right.

Basketball and volleyball players will love the gymnasium.

The multifunction room is located between the gymnasium and the racquetball courts.

The facility offers three racquetball courts.

Meeting and group exercise rooms are available for use at the new facility.

There is an incredible variety of cardiovascular equipment featuring everything from treadmills to rope pulls.

The entire Fitness and Liberty Complex consists of a few distinct areas. Entrance intothe fitness center offers access to a 50 meter by 25 yard handicapped accessible Olympic size swimming pool, three full size basketball courts, three racquetball courts, group exercise and meeting rooms, full locker rooms, massage (for an added fee), free weights and weight machines, an entire second floor full of various cardiovascular machines, a separate area for parents with children to exercise and a very nice reception area. There is also a “multifunction room” next to the gymnasium offering TRX, cable weights and medicine balls. Jemma, an MWR Fitness Instructor offered, “There’s something for everyone! You’re not going to miss the warehouse or the main gym once you step inside.”

A relaxing massage can be scheduled with the front desk and enjoyed on the second floor in this inviting room.

Patrons with young children can exercise with their child nearby in an area designed to keep them happy and occupied.

There are drinking fountains throughout the fitness center and the lockers in the locker room are spacious.

The pool will be primarily for lap swimming but is expected to offer open swim times on the weekends.

The outdoor facilities include two synthetic softball fields separated from the hustle and bustle of the base by a row of scenic eucalyptus trees and a synthetic multipurpose field.

There are two synthetic softball fields in the complex. Notice the landscaping designed to save water.

The multipurpose field offers covered picnic tables along the perimeter.

The Liberty Center is located between the Fitness Center and one of the softball fields.

The Liberty Center, an amazing improvement from what used to exist, offers a myriad of entertainment options for single enlisted sailors. Rear Admiral Patrick J. Lorge, Commander, Navy Region Southwest said that the new complex is “a fantastic thing.” He’s “so happy we’ve been able to provide this to our sailors.” While admiring the varied amenities at the new

Liberty center, Admiral Lorge shared that “a lot of kids are away from home for the first time and the Liberty Center provides a link to make friends. It’s like a big thank you for saying yes to service. These young people are our most precious asset.”

Outside seating includes a fire pit and some BBQ’s and inside includes some traditional gaming tables.

There are plenty of areas to relax and lots of computers for sailors to use.

Looks like a very comfy place to watch a feature film.

Patrons of the Liberty Center can enjoy the outside area with a fire pit, comfy couches and even two BBQ’s or wander inside to play ping pong, cards, video games, use computers, or catch a movie in the theatre where all 60 seats are recliners. There is a vending area that offers snacks, but otherwise admission to the center is free. The staff also plan fee-based trips and events like overnight backpacking and outings to Petco Park for Padres games. Trips and events are open to enlisted active duty and a guest, age 18 or older.

A healthy body helps yield a healthy mind and this new complex offers many opportunities for fitness and recreation for Active duty military members, their families, Department of Defense civilian employees, contractors and guests.

The entire complex is a smoke free environment. Current hours for the fitness center are Monday through Friday, 4 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and holidays 8 a.m-4 p.m. Admission is free for Active duty members and their family members and for DOD civilians. There is a $3 use fee for DOD contractors and guests. The aquatic facility is not open yet, but should be in the next week or so. Use will primarily be lap swim, though patrons can expect some open swim hours on the weekends (kid friendly).

For more information on the Naval Base Coronado Fitness and Liberty Complex, NASNI Building, 1507:

Fitness Center 619-545-0237
Liberty Center 619-545-3331

Kellee Hearther

Staff Writer

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