Buckner undergoes locker room upgrades

010717 | July 13, 2017

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —

The Buckner Fitness Center locker room project has entered Phase II.

The 673d Force Support Squadron is asking patrons to use Polar Paradise Pool locker rooms during the project.

Phase II consists of:

Expanded entry ways for ADA access

New LED lights

A new pool arctic entry

A new family changing room for fitness pool guests

New shower plumbing 

New shower fixtures and stalls

Renovated ceilings

Expanded hygiene areas

Renovated restroom areas

Dry saunas, new from the floor up

Renovated steam rooms

The Buckner locker room project started in late 2015 and originally included a complete remodel of all aspects of the locker rooms for both men and women. It was later decided the cost was too high for completion at one time in 2017. Therefore the project was broken into two phases.

Phase I consists of the most invasive work: primarily lockers and floors with other items that could fit without undue cost or interruption in Phase II. Phase I requirements were previously identified to determine items that could be finished, and then allow the locker rooms to reopen before Phase II funding was available.

Phase I started in spring 2017.  While work was underway, the 673d FSS found out Phase II funding was approved.

“It is fortunate that Phase II was funded early,” said John Limon, 673d FSS. “The nature of the work lends itself to best be completed while the whole space is empty. Otherwise, we would have scheduled Phase II work around some newly installed lockers.

“Now that Phase II is funded early, we can proceed with that work in an empty space. It would be like doing a garage renovation and buying a new car at the same time,” Limon continued. “If possible you would want to renovate the garage without your new car parked inside.”

Limon clarified the nature of the project schedule.

“Unfortunately, for our customers it means a longer wait under-construction,” he said. “But this new extended completion date is not due to any delays, but rather to an expansion of work to be completed.”

Limon explained the reasoning for skipping a phased approach in terms of locker room closures.

“It will also be less disruptive to complete Phase II at once since many of our customers have grown accustomed to skipping the primary locker rooms and going straight to the temporary alternate locker rooms in Polar Paradise Pool,” he said. “In a phased approach, we would have been asking customers to switch back and forth between the Polar Paradise Pool locker rooms and the primary locker rooms.  So in the interest of avoiding confusion, it is most beneficial to continue the work through to completion.”

Limon acknowledged the challenges the locker room closure poses to customers.

“We understand that customers who are accustomed to using a temporary alternate locker room does not necessarily equate to a happy customer base,” Limon said. “But we know JBER customers are resilient and have shown that through the many improvements across our Installation Fitness Centers over the years.

“Our customers are accepting the temporary inconvenience, and Bucker fitness center staff will continue doing our best to keep a high-level of service as we complete the project,” Limon elaborated. “We just want everyone to know the Buckner staff appreciates our customers’ continued understanding and support.”

Editor's Note: This project is expected to be completed by the end of Dec. 2017.


  • 673d Force support Squadron
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