By Marcus Fichtl
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
Residents at Robinson Barracks will be out of workout excuses thanks to a newly-installed cypher lock providing 24/7 access to the local post gym Sept. 13.
The newly expanded gym hours is the centerpiece of a Robinson Barracks betternment project that’s not only seen increased access to the fitness center, but improvements to post lighting, chapel heating and general facility renovation.
“Access to a gym day or night is one of those small quality life improvements that really hits on one of the Army’s fundamentals – physical fitness,” said Capt. Marcus Elledge, Robinson Barracks working group leader and resident. “It’s projects like this that fulfill our promise to the garrison motto ‘I’m glad I live here.’”
A fulfillment Elledge acknowledges the garrison fell a bit short with after COVID-19 threw garrison services out of alignment two years ago. He said that at the start of the pandemic when all gyms were shut down, major staffing shortfalls had disrupted the opening of the Robinson Barracks fitness center the most. Not only was the RB gym the last to open, it opened irregularly before settling on a time that for many felt only benefited a portion of the community.
For Sgt. Andressa Almeida who spins records every morning at the AFN Stuttgart studio on RB, 24/7 access is the perfect belated Christmas present. At work by 5 a.m. when the gym opened and home after 1 p.m. when the gym closed, Almeida said that getting to gym was near impossible for her and many of her colleagues at the station.
She said that while many of her fellow residents understood the mission constraints the coronavirus had put on the garrison, they also felt like the forgotten children of Stuttgart.
“I was driving thirty minutes to Patch most days,” Almeida said. “I tried German gyms but it didn’t work out. I missed the American gym culture – I missed seeing people from our RB community.”
And as the voice AFN Stuttgart, Almeida was ecstatic when she was able to share the good news of the Gym’s new hours, not just as a Soldier presenting information over the air but as a local resident who had her voice heard.
“I like to talk about the fact that we made this happen as a community,” said Almeida. “The community saw a need, and the garrison made it happen for us – that’s the part that makes me feel great.”
Even with a dozen major projects completed on RB, including 24/7 access gym, Elledge said the garrison isn’t done.
“I’m hoping that the work that we’ve discussed here shows that the garrison takes the community input seriously, and that we are listening,“ said Elledge.
For information on how you can receive 24/7 access to the RB Gym or any of the other gyms on post go to stuttgart.armymwr.com