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Volume 46 | Issue 3 | April 2004


photo: Dryden gym
Amy McBride, Afterburner Gym manager, said she is excited about the new gym facility that is expected to be complete in the fall. Above, McBride leads an aerobics class.
NASA Photo / Tom Tschida

New Dryden gym approved

By Jay Levine
X-Press Editor

Dryden's Afterburner Gym is changing its trajectory.

The current facility, located near the old Dryden health unit in building 4809, will be moving to a new building to be erected near the current dispensary, building 4822.

"I'm ecstatic. I think it's long overdue," said Amy McBride, gym manager. "Exercise should be a part of everybody's daily routine and this new location and facility will make it easier for people to be a part of our exciting classes and programs. Every NASA center has a wellness and fitness center; these plans really will make our programs on par with those Agency-wide and more accessible to civil servants and contractors."

In addition to its new location, McBride said the new facility also will feature added amenities - including showers, lockers, restrooms and new cardio and weight equipment.

A new facility will permit more people to make use of the gym because of its larger size and additional equipment, she said. Addition of extended morning or afternoon hours also will be considered depending on members' needs.

A weight room and a soundproof aerobics room are planned for the new facility. For additional services and safety, aerobics instructor Annie Daniels has been added to the gym staff. Daniels is a kickboxing specialist and will lead classes in that discipline as well as aerobics classes.

"This facility is essential in what can be a stressful environment full of deadlines and groundbreaking work," McBride said. "The gym enhances morale and people who work out generally feel better than those who do not."

As part of the change, McBride said she will ask old and new members to submit ideas for a new name for the gym and then put the issue to a vote this fall prior to the opening of the new facility.

An effort to build a new fitness center was underway last year when budget shortfalls brought plans to a halt. The plans were revived following a NASA Headquarters Occupational Health Program audit. The audit cited several observations about the quality and safety of the current gym facility. With a majority of the design work for the new center completed last year, Headquarters staff assisted Dryden in finding ways to secure funding for the project.