Kingsley Field provides weightlifters better-quality gymnasium

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore.
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

The doors opened to an anticipated upgrade to the Kingsley Field gymnasium, Dec. 13, 2023. The 4,800 square foot addition cost just over 3-million dollars, and took nearly a year and half to complete.

Although most people at Kingsly refer to it as a gym, it’s actually a multi-use facility, which can be used for mass-deployment processing or to accommodate a mass medical event as well.

For nearly a decade the fitness facility had limited space for weightlifting. In years past the facility had two small rooms with some weightlifting and cardio equipment.

The arrival of active duty Airmen on base brought additional funding which was used to purchase additional weightlifting equipment and placed on half of the existing basketball court floor. This proved untenable as that floor is a pier-and-beam construction and developed cracks in several load-bearing beams from all the extra weight.

Because of this, much of the equipment had to be stored for the for the last two years awaiting a process where a new space was designed, approved, funded, and as of now, built.

“It took two full box trucks to move all of the equipment, at least an extra 10,000 pounds,” said Senior Master Sgt. Colin Carr, who coordinated the equipment storage.

When the doors to the new facility opened, many Team Kingsley Airmen could be seen using the equipment including Tech. Sgt.  Ashley Vela. “For two years now, I have gone off base to lift, so now I’m saving time and money,” she said of the new facility.

Airmen test their strength at least once a year during the physical fitness test, but Marissa Willmott, the Kingsley Field nutrition and wellness specialist, says the benefits of weight training extend beyond that simple test as it increases one’s metabolic rate, lowers the risk of injury, enhances mood and increases quality of life.

“There are lots of studies on how it lowers risk of cancer, diabetes, and blood pressure, the list goes on and on,” she adds. “Especially as we age, it's more important to build muscle tissues for these possible issues.” 

With that in mind, it’s a unique benefit to anyone who is authorized on-base, a new, well-furnished gym that is open around the clock.