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Depot workers stay in shape

January 22, 1999

Letterkenny Army DepotBy DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: DON AINES




CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - For half a century, Letterkenny Army Depot employees, military personnel and their families have been staying in shape and working off stress at the depot's fitness center.

As they have been doing for about 13 years, Joe George and Randy Quinn played racquetball Tuesday at the 54-year-old center. Like many employees at the depot, they switched over their memberships when the center came under new management.

Rene Hann, 28, became the owner of Hann's Sports World on Jan. 5. She had submitted the winning bid to lease the 12,000-square-foot building from the United Churches of Chambersburg.

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Hann, who ran the center under a government contract for the last four years, said most of the people who had memberships prior to the center changing hands have decided to stay on. The difference now is anyone can join.

"Some of the people on the depot have not been eligible to join because they weren't government-affiliated," Hann said Tuesday. As a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission's 1995 decision to downsize the depot, 1,500 acres of the army depot is being turned over to the civilian sector.

There are about 300 private-sector employees now at the depot, a number that will grow as more businesses and industries locate there. Hann said several have already joined up.

Last fall the Department of the Army turned over the first 234 acres to the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority. That included the land on which the fitness center and the depot chapel are located.

The authority eventually will deed over that property to the church group and Hann's lease of the gym will help support upkeep of the chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II.

"My busiest times are lunchtime and right after work," Hann said as members filed in late Tuesday morning.

Annual memberships, which start at $225 for an individual, include aerobic classes, Nautilus weight machines and "free weights," cardiovascular treadmills and bikes, racquetball, sauna and other amenities, she said.

Hann is offering free two-week trial memberships. There is no initiation fee for those who join, she said.

"I definitely need cardiovascular activity," Rosalie Poznaniak, of Chambersburg, said after a treadmill workout. She's been coming to the center two or three times a week for more than two years.

The gym is available for rental by basketball and volleyball leagues, Hann said. For an extra fee therapeutic massage treatments also are available, she said.

Hann's Sports World is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays,from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. There is a key card system for those who want to work out earlier in the morning.

Hann said the center will be more accessible later this year when the Army moves its perimeter fence inside the location of the center and eliminates Gate 1.

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