By Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever members gathered in front of the main fitness center here July 29 to bear witness to the new multi-purpose facility and indoor running track grand opening.
The 50th Space Wing Chaplain, Maj. Glenn Gresham, offered words of gratitude on the long awaited day.
“We thank you for this glorious day that we can come out and celebrate these two buildings,” Gresham said. “We thank you for the leadership and the vision of the people in the 50th Space Wing who were responsible for planning and formulating and bringing about these projects.”
The two buildings have been in the works for nearly two years.
According to base officials, the temporary multi-purpose facility is a 4,880 square foot leased Non-Appropriated Fund facility that will expand the capabilities of many organizations at Schriever.
“The chaplain’s office will be better able to meet the community and spiritual needs of base residents with a bigger meeting area,” said Seth Canello, Schriever sports director and the master of ceremonies for the day’s event. “The new facility will also give base residents a place to hold classes, community events, gatherings and will allow the youth program to expand offerings to the teens of Schriever.”
Schriever youth programs have weighed heavily on the wing commander. “What has kept me up at night is worrying how we can better take care of our teens and pre-teens since they attend school only four days a week,” Col. Wayne Monteith, 50th Space Wing commander. “The new multi-purpose facility will ensure Schriever teens and pre-teens have constructive options after school hours.”
Though the new facility fits the immediate need, the commander hopes to see a more permanent facility in the near future.
“I’ll give you truth in advertising up front,” Monteith said. “Our long-term goal is to only have it for five years and then obtain military construction funds to allow us to upgrade this to a permanent facility. This is a suitable, reasonable alternative until we receive funding for something permanent.”
Another hot issue on the commander’s list has been losing physical fitness testing days due to unpredictable Colorado weather. This problem was also solved with the dedication of the new indoor running track.
“I had hoped that we’d actually dedicate the field house when it was about 20 below zero so everybody could see why I’ve spent almost the entire 715 days I’ve been in command trying to get this field house out here,” Monteith said. “We lost about 40 percent of our testing days up until this year because of wind, weather and temperature. We won’t have that problem anymore and we won’t have to bus our folks over to Peterson Air Force Base to be able to take the Air Force Fitness Assessment which is good news. Once it is completely done we will be able to move additional equipment in there and it will be a first class facility.”
With the expansion of Schriever from a commuter base to a community base in 2009, these two facilities are a testament to 50 SW leadership’s dedication to quality of life at Schriever.
“It’s been an uphill battle, at times, but the tremendous help from everybody involved has allowed us to have these two fantastic facilities,” Monteith said. “It has taken two full years to get to this point and I’m only disappointed that the asphalt doesn’t go in until late next week and I won’t actually get a lap on the track. This has been a collaborative effort and it’s a good day for Schriever Air Force Base.”