A showcase for the $10.5 million Racquet Club redo | ParkRecord.com

A showcase for the $10.5 million Racquet Club redo

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Parkites who enjoy the Racquet Club as it is today should log as much time as they can in the facility this winter.

In the spring, most of the Park Meadows building will be torn down as City Hall starts a major renovation of the public-sector health club.

Park City leaders months ago decided they wanted to renovate the building, but there has been little discussion among regular Parkites since then. Officials on Dec. 2 plan to hold an open house to showcase the blueprints for the redone building, to be called the Park City Recreation Center.

The event runs from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the tennis courts. Racquet Club officials, members of the City Hall panel called the Recreation Advisory Board and the architect designing the renovated building plan to attend the open house.

Park City wants to start the work, priced at $10.5 million, in the spring and finish in the fall of 2011. The Racquet Club will be closed during the renovation even as Ken Fisher, who manages City Hall’s recreation programs, said he hopes the Racquet Club pool will remain open in the summers of 2010 and 2011.

Under the renovation scenario, nearly all of the Racquet Club will be torn down. The gymnasium is the only section of the building that will remain standing, according to Fisher.

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"There’s all sorts of opportunities," Fisher said about the prospects of designing an environmentally friendly recreation facility equipped for crowds nowadays.

Fisher said the layout will be switched, with locker rooms moved closer to the pools to stop people from dripping water onto the floor as they traipse through the building. The childcare space will be shifted closer to the front desk. A rentable party room will be added.

"You will not recognize it. It’s a whole new facility," Fisher said.

The upcoming open house provides Fisher’s team to present the plans, and he acknowledged that many of the details of the renovation were decided during an earlier round of talks between Park City officials and regular Parkites.

City Hall is seeking a permit from the Park City Planning Commission for the renovation. A meeting is tentatively scheduled Dec. 9 between the panel and the team leading the renovation efforts.

The Racquet Club dates to the early 1970s, when it was built as a private-sector facility. City Hall purchased the building in 1987 and completed a major renovation two years later. There have been less ambitious improvements in the 20 years since then.

Many claim that the building is outdated, and there have been numerous complaints that the Racquet Club has deteriorated in quality. Some sort of renovation has been anticipated for years.

During the closure, Fisher’s department will open a fitness facility in rented space on Iron Horse Drive. A weight room, cardio equipment and space for fitness classes, a childcare center and administrative offices will be set up in the Iron Horse Drive location.

For more information about the Dec. 2 open house, contact Fisher. His number is 615-5411 and his e-mail address is ken@parkcity.org.