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Make your voice heard

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Have you been taking advantage of the 24-hour access to the fitness center? Looking forward to grabbing a midnight meal while working a mid-shift? Have a great idea that could help make Schriever Air Force Base a better place to work, live and play?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, the current Quality of Life survey (available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QLWH7KY) is the place to make your voice heard.

"We want people to be part of the improvements we're making to Schriever," said Thea Wasche, 50th Force Support Squadron deputy commander.

The survey, open until Feb. 18, consists of six questions. The final two questions are open-ended, allowing users to explain in detail what changes they would like to see at Schriever. The first question asks users to list "any facilities, equipment, programs and/or activities that you would like to see at Schriever AFB." The second question deals with current services and whether they support Quality of Life initiatives.

"We're open to all sorts of ideas," Wasche said. "We specifically didn't put a stipulation on what you could ask for because we want to know everything. We've already found some good ideas and we're already implementing them before the survey comes to a close."

One such idea was to construct a paved path from the Schriever Fitness Center to the running trails. Wasche said the idea came from only one of the 417 responses they have received to date, but because the idea was good, and cost effective, she took it to base leadership and got the work order submitted.

"It has always bothered me because I go from the fitness center to the running path and I've got to walk through the dirt and gravel and I thought, 'Oh, I hate this.' But I never thought to put it in writing," Wasche said. "But that's what happens with the survey. It just takes one person, and in this case, that one person made it happen."

Wasche added she is pleased by the number of respondents, and that it far exceeded her expectations.

"I was hoping for 60-70 responses, which is pretty typical," she said. "As of Feb. 6 we've received 417 so far, which is really good for a survey. I think having (the 50th Space Wing commander) shoot out the email really helped because he has said it over and over again, 'Please we need your input.'"

Wasche already has a good idea of what most people would like to see added to Schriever, even though the full results won't be available until after the survey closes. She said the top two requests are for additional dining options and expanded resources for the fitness center.

"Right now the very, very top request is dining options, something other than the dining facility and the shoppette," she said. "Fitness center requests are running neck and neck with dining options. Everything in the fitness center has been requested, from expanded hours to expanded programs and getting more equipment."

Some of the fitness center requests are either in progress, such as repairing the racquetball court, or have already been implemented, including 24-hour access and a kiosk for on-demand fitness classes, she said. Additionally, one of the big requests, offering of a midnight meal, will begin in March.

"I'm not sure if the most recent survey played a factor in getting 24-hour access started or not," said Seth Cannello, Schriever AFB Fitness Center director. "I can tell you 24-hour operations has been the most requested subject that has been brought to my attention since I started in 2001."

Some of the issues that have been raised through the survey are things that have actually been in progress for some time; however, the continued requests prove that leadership is on the right track.

"Midnight meals and 24-hour access to the fitness center have been in the works for years," Wasche said. "The survey itself didn't push them to the top saying we need to do this now, but it validated that what we're doing is what people want."

There are some things that have been requested that are beyond base leadership's control, such as improvements to Highway 94 and the construction of a commissary.
There have been several requests for a commissary; however, DeCa would have to validate the feasibility for Schriever with 242 homes. The expanded commissary available ten miles west of the base is currently accommodating Schriever residents and the local military and retiree population.

Wasche said she'll meet with the committee once the survey closes to discuss the results and determine which requests can be implemented. The results will be made public when available.
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