14th FSS focuses on major Quality of Life projects for Columbus AFB Airmen, families

  • Published
  • By Airman Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing

The 14th Force Support Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, presented the base community with multiple base-improvement plans at the Quality of Life Town Hall, March 5; although the 14th FSS have several projects for this fiscal year, the 14th FSS says three of the projects stand out from the others.

The three major projects are: repaving the Blaze Fitness Trail, expanding the family fitness center and reopening the auto hobby shop.

Brad Ludington, 14th FSS operations officer, went into specifics about the projects and what is expected. He began with the Blaze Fitness Trail.

“What the contractors are saying about the fitness trail right now, is that they are going to start working around May or June,” Ludington said. “They have to redo the foundation of it and they’re actually going to lay down 2.2 miles of rubber on the trail.”

Ludington said the timeline of construction is two to three months.

Once complete, the trail will connect and end at the family fitness center, Ludington said. He also said the width of the trail will be wider than it is now, making it a comfortable width for joggers and parents with strollers.

The expansion of the family fitness center is also a significant project for the 14th FSS, he said. Ludington said they plan to make the space larger, allowing them to add more exercise equipment.

“We’re looking at expanding it a little more to what used to be the café,” he said. “So we’re looking at gutting that portion of it and adding treadmills, and other things that people keep asking for.”

Ludington said a difficult part about the expansion of the family fitness center is moving machinery out the cafe. A portion of the center still has stoves and cookers, connected to gas pipes, so crews need to be careful when disassembling. Ludington said the 14th FSS needs the money for the machinery to be properly removed or the project could be delayed.

When asked about the biggest challenges for the expansion and the three projects, overall, Ludington said most of it is finances.

“We’ve gotten to this point where people expect a level of amenities,” Ludington said. “We’re trying to get to that level, but we just haven’t had the money in recent years. But now we’re starting to get that level where we can start getting money to fund and enhance the base.”

Lastly, but certainly not least according to base members, Ludington said the reopening of the auto hobby shop has been one of the most asked about projects.

Senior Master Sgt. Michael Anderson, 14th FSS military personnel flight superintendent, said they will soon be coordinating with the 14th Civil Engineering Squadron to clean out the shop. He also said the shop will be provided with tools and will start off as a self-help shop.

“It will be like a self-help kind of thing, where you go out rent tools or a lift,” Anderson said. “That will be to start with, or the crawl portion of it. Just like oil changes, tire rotations and stuff.”

Anderson said the auto hobby shop is scheduled to reopen in a four to six month time period.