Delayed: opening of new Park City recreation center pushed back |

Delayed: opening of new Park City recreation center pushed back

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

The opening of the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center will be delayed until early January, City Hall officials said on Monday, acknowledging that the finishing touches on the facility will not be completed in time for what had been billed as a mid-December debut.

As recently as last week, officials had indicated the facility would open its doors at 2 p.m. on Dec. 16. Matt Twombly, one of the City Hall staffers overseeing the project, said on Monday the opening has been pushed back to the first week of January, up to a three-week delay depending on the actual date of the opening. A grand opening event is slated for Jan. 12, he said.

"We have a few details, a few items, that wouldn’t be completely finished," by Dec. 16, Twombly said. "We wanted to get those complete."

He said City Hall wanted to avoid a scenario of workers completing the project alongside customers working out or showering and getting dressed in the locker rooms.

Twombly said some of the tasks that remain include putting in light fixtures and ceiling work. There could be work left in the locker rooms as well, he said. Officials prefer the crews be essentially finished with the work before the facility opens, Twombly added.

Twombly said the workers will reach "substantial completion" by Dec. 15, a day before the previously anticipated opening date. City Hall hopes to secure a temporary certificate of occupancy, the permit that allows a building to be opened, by Dec. 30. The temporary certificate would cover the entire facility, Twombly said.

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In a prepared statement released by City Hall on Monday, officials say a wet, cold spring contributed to the delayed opening. The statement also said the schedule was lengthened with delays "incurred replacing subcontractors who didn’t have the financial stability to weather the current financial crisis."

The delay puts the opening closer to the start of the Sundance Film Festival, scheduled on Jan. 19. Sundance organizers use the gymnasium in the Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center as a screening room, one of the largest of the festival’s theaters. The first screening at the facility is usually on the second day of the festival Jan. 20 in 2012, or eight days after the grand opening is scheduled.

Twombly said festival organizers will be allowed into the gymnasium to begin the setup prior to the facility opening to the public.

Meanwhile, City Hall will extend a lease for the workout space at a building at 1255 Iron Horse Drive for one month as a result of the delay. Twombly said the extension is anticipated to cost $14,000.

The overall budget for the Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center remains set at $10.5 million, he said. The facility replaces the aging Racquet Club. Most of the Racquet Club was demolished at the start of the project, which commenced in mid-2010. The new facility was built at the same site, with the gymnasium the only part of the Racquet Club interior that was incorporated into the new building.

The Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center will feature numerous upgrades in workout equipment and space as well as a series of environmental features. Some of the new features will include a bouldering wall and a three-lane running track overlooking the indoor tennis courts.

The facility is among City Hall’s largest construction projects. The Racquet Club was built as a private-sector health club in the early 1970s. City Hall acquired the Racquet Club in 1987 and completed a major renovation two years later.

The Park City Council and Parkites who used the Racquet Club see the current renovation, more ambitious than the one in the 1980s, as a long-needed upgrade. The City Council earmarked the funding for the work even as it struggled with crafting the overall municipal budget as a result of the recession.