HomeNewsroomArticle Display

Mathis Fitness Center converts to outdoor gym

Free weights are useable at the Mathis Fitness Center’s outdoor facilities, on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 26, 2020. The base introduced the new open-air workout facility during the transition to the Health Protection Level Bravo, and strictly followed the recommended COVID-19 health and safety precautions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

Free weights are useable at the Mathis Fitness Center’s outdoor facilities, on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 26, 2020. The base introduced the new open-air workout facility during the transition to the Health Protection Level Bravo, and strictly followed the recommended COVID-19 health and safety precautions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

Military members exercise at the Mathis Fitness Center’s outdoor facilities, on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 28, 2020. The open-air concept fitness center provided more fitness options for base personnel, while supporting health and safety precautions such social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

Military members exercise at the Mathis Fitness Center’s outdoor facilities, on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 28, 2020. The open-air concept fitness center provided more fitness options for base personnel, while supporting health and safety precautions such social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

The rules to the  Mathis Fitness Center’s outdoor facilities are on display, on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 28, 2020.  The staff  intentionally spaced the equipment to enforce a six-foot-social-distance and provided cleaning towels and spray bottles to sanitize the machines after each use. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

The rules to the Mathis Fitness Center’s outdoor facilities are on display, on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 28, 2020. The staff intentionally spaced the equipment to enforce a six-foot-social-distance and provided cleaning towels and spray bottles to sanitize the machines after each use. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The Mathis Fitness Center converted its facilities to an outdoor gym here and opened for use May 18.

Located near the training squadron’s dormitories, the outdoor gym was created to provide more fitness options for base personnel, while supporting health and safety precautions such social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our local community continues to restore services, we are actively working on plans to gradually restore services to the base as well,” said Col. Andres Nazario, 17th Training Wing commander. “We have also converted the Mathis Gym into an open air gym, and we are still working a plan to allow permanent party to access off-base gyms in the coming weeks.”

Since the base gym closed in preventative measures against coronavirus in March, the 17th TRW leadership and the Mathis Fitness Center staff worked out a viable and innovative solution.

“The wing leadership requested more options for fitness outdoors,” said Mathis Fitness Center Operations Director Lavar Grimes. “And we supported the idea 100 percent.”

Although the outdoor gym’s installation was mainly implemented for student use, it can be utilized by anyone with base access.

As the base transitioned to Health Protection Level Bravo, the new open-air workout facility strictly follows the recommended COVID-19 health and safety precautions.

“We have taken many steps to support COVID-19 preventative efforts,” said Grimes. “We have separated the equipment so everyone can maintain six feet in between one another and our staff provided cleaning towels and spray bottles for everyone to use after each use. Our 17th Force Support Squadron marketing team has also provided signs, which promote social distancing and reminders to clean the equipment as well.”

As Goodfellow continues its restoration plans, it remains focused on safety and health.  

“I want to thank everyone for remaining vigilant during this crisis and abiding by Center of Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Defense guidelines,” said Nazario. “The safety and health of our service members is always my top priority.”