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Schedule changes planned for JBLM

FMWR seeks efficiencies by reducing facility hours

Northwest Guardian

Published: 03:14PM May 16th, 2013

To meet current demands on services and derive maximum value in a tighter resource environment, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation announced this week a number of schedule changes to Joint Base Lewis-McChord fitness centers, pools, child services and libraries effective June 1.

One of the biggest changes is the number of hours cut at four popular fitness facilities on base: McVeigh Sports and Fitness Center, Soldiers Field House, Wilson Sports and Fitness Center and McChord Fitness Center.

Using the RecTrac database, FMWR tracks customer usage for each of its fitness centers and notes peak and weak demand times. Records showed a small number of patrons at each center during the hours prior to closing.

“Based on that feedback, it doesn’t make sense to operate when we don’t have customers,” said Denis Senftner, FMWR non-appropriated fund resource manager.

The Army Baseline Standard funds one fitness center for 90 hours a week, but through non-appropriated funds, five JBLM fitness centers have each operated 12 hours per week beyond that level. All JBLM centers except Jensen Family Health and Fitness Center will reduce hours to 90 per week, Senftner said.

Under the new schedule, Soldiers Field House, McVeigh and Wilson Sports and Fitness centers will open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday. Hours at all five facilities will vary on weekends, holidays and DONSA days according to demand.

“Fitness centers are considered mission essential,” Senftner said. “Although we are funded at a lower level than we have (been) in the past, maintaining appropriate levels of service and mission focus despite declining resources continues to be our focus.”

Jensen’s hours of 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday will remain the same, but also as a result of low demand, five hours will be cut from the center’s child care service, which will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday starting June 1.

“There was an average of four people per hour period who were using it between (1 to 7 p.m.),” Senftner said. Child development centers and school-age services with Child, Youth and School Services will be open 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., a 30-minute change from the former 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours.

For middle school and teenage centers, the new hours are 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and 3 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

CYSS summer hours at middle school/teen centers will run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 3 to 9 p.m. Saturdays.

While all schedule changes are driven by customer demand, lower funding levels have forced JBLM libraries to eliminate Sundays from their schedules. The change will give libraries more operational cash to use.

“It allows us to maintain the same level of books, learning tools and other programs that we have today,” Senftner said.

Grandstaff Library will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. McChord Library and Book Patch Library will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.