The Liberty Center just opened in November. What is it? Why should you care? Why should you work out there? Here’s a breakdown of this new facility and why you need to be in the loop about it.
What is the Liberty Center?
The Liberty Center is one of the first facilities completed in preparation for the arrival of the B-21 Raiders and all of the accompanying personnel. The facility is 58,000 square feet of exercise space decked out with state-of-the art equipment.
Who owns the Liberty Center?
The Liberty Center is owned by the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority (who also owns this blog that you’re on right now). This group was founded by the South Dakota legislature “to make sure that the Great State of South Dakota is always a Great Place for the US Department of Defense to conduct its essential National defense mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base.”
SDEDA has been instrumental in some big projects like the Powder River Training Complex and consolidating the waste water treatment systems of Ellsworth and Box Elder. The Liberty Center is another one of those projects that helps South Dakota be a great place to carry out that mission of national defense.
Who operates the Liberty Center?
SDEDA chose an established organization to operate the Liberty Center — the YMCA of Rapid City.
The YMCA brings efficiency and a sense of community and connection to the table. Kiez Larson is the Executive Director of the YMCA of Rapid City. She says, “The YMCA has always been about developing partnerships, so we’re really excited about this facility.”
Why should I work out here?
The Liberty Center was designed to give the Airmen of Ellsworth AFB and the residents of Box Elder an outstanding workout experience. Kiez says that there’s a whole laundry list of reasons to work out at the Liberty Center, but here’s just a few of the exceptional features that she pointed out.
- A one-of-a-kind indoor track. “In the Black Hills, that’s a huge plus,” Kiez says. Running is a crucial part of the Air Force PT requirements. When the weather dips below zero for weeks at a time, it’s good to know that you’ll have a way to keep working on your running.
- $18 per month for unlimited classes and equipment use for service members. And $30 for their families. “We’ve tried to make the membership fees very affordable.”
- With a membership, you’ll be able to try out different classes and discover which ones you enjoy the most.
- “Childcare can definitely be a barrier for families staying healthy, so we have drop-in childcare.”
- The equipment is really nice, but it’s been intentionally selected with service members in mind. Inside the facility, there’s turf for weight sleds. It was specifically put in for the National Guard who is going to use it for training, but weight sleds are a great way for anyone to build muscle. Plus, there’s basketball courts that can be turned into volleyball and pickleball courts.
Bonus Facts about the Liberty Center
The Liberty Center was designed to be enjoyed by both Airmen and civilians. “Strong communities are formed by strong relationships,” Kiez explains. Making friends in the community where you’re serving is always encouraged. Working out at the Liberty Center could be the start of some beautiful friendships.
Besides just being a wellness center, the Liberty Center can be used as an event venue. Kiez says, “We already have a great partnership with the Douglas School District.” Douglas has been able to use the facility to host events that were too big for their school facilities. And Ellsworth AFB is planning on using the facility for events, as well.
And more community and military events are set to be hosted there.