Kamas fitness center turns five | ParkRecord.com

Kamas fitness center turns five

It’s been five years since the South Summit Aquatic and Fitness Center (SSAFC) opened its doors in Kamas. It doesn’t seem like a long time for executive director Steve Sutherland that is, until he considers all that the facility has accomplished in such a short period.

This week, the SSAFC will mark its anniversary with a day’s-worth of free fun for the entire community. The day will include free admission to the fitness center as well as a free dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs and potato salad.

"What we’re trying to do is two fold," Sutherland said." We want to thank everyone that has supported us and if they haven’t, they can check it for and enjoy it as well."

In the past five years, the SSAFC has seen lots of people, programs and changes. Perhaps the biggest change is the new UV filtration system that was installed in the pools this past summer. According to Sutherland, the center offers about 45 programs per year and has offered at least 70 different programs over the last five years. The facility truly has two pools, a Jacuzzi, a climbing wall, fitness center and fitness classes. In the next year, the South Summit School District, which runs the facility, plans to add racquetball courts, office space and a new aerobics room to be completed this spring.

"It’s something to look forward to," Sutherland said.

The center was built by the South Summit School District with the intention of supplementing the schools’ physical-education class as well as offering amenities to the community. It ended up being a beneficial addition in the area, with its impact reaching far past the city limits.

"I’m a little surprised," he said. "I wasn’t quite sure how much of an impact it would make outside of the Kamas Valley.

These days, he sees regulars from the surrounding communities of Park City and Heber. He also sees vacation home owners, visiting groups from Salt Lake and Utah counties and countless other visitors. During the days of the housing boom, Sutherland said that it was a normal occurrence for Realtors to bring prospective Summit County home buyers to show off the facility.

The SSAFC can also celebrate its uniqueness as the only recreation center in the state that is fully owned and operated by a school district.

"You have to credit the school district for their foresight," Sutherland said. "It was a leap of faith."

The risk came in the gamble that locals would embrace the facility and use it regularly. Sutherland said that the center has changed the lives of local children as well as the community at large.

"It’s a great addition for a small community to have something like this," he said. "It’s affected the quality of life."

Sutherland will also be marking his own anniversary. He was hired by the South Summit School District in July 2003 and was there when the center opened in September.

The anniversary festivities will be held Monday, Sept. 22. Free admission to the center will continue from 2:30 until 9 p.m., with dinner being served from 5 to 7 p.m. Call the SSAFC at (435) 783-2423 for more information.

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