Welcome, Parkites, to your new athletic center | ParkRecord.com

Welcome, Parkites, to your new athletic center

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Anyone wanting to burn off some holiday season calories may now head to the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center.

The new Park Meadows facility was scheduled to open at 6 a.m. Friday morning, a few weeks later than City Hall had wanted but in time for the new year. The Friday opening depended on officials securing a permit allowing people inside. Staffers involved in the work expected that the permit would be granted.

The Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center, which officials have dubbed the PC MARC for short, sits at the same Little Kate Road site where the largely demolished Racquet Club once stood. Only the gymnasium from the older building was incorporated into the new one.

"The community’s been waiting . . . It’s really quite the facility," said Ken Fisher, who directs City Hall’s recreation programs and was one of the staffers who oversaw the project.

He said the work crews continued laboring at the site through the scheduled opening. Up to 75 workers remained at the site on Wednesday, he said.

Construction commenced in mid-2010 with the crews tearing down most of the aging Racquet Club. People passing by the site over the past 1 1/2 years watched the demolition and then the workers putting up a steel skeleton. The roof and exterior walls followed before the crews focused on the inside.

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The work cost approximately $10.5 million. Fisher said the project will be completed within the budget. There will be numerous upgrades to the workout equipment and spaces. The new facility also incorporates a series of environmental improvements.

Some of the athletic upgrades include:

  • a three-lane running track built overlooking the tennis courts
  • the addition of two group-fitness studios, bringing the number to three. One of the new ones will be dedicated to spinning workouts and the other will be designed for yoga.
  • an expanded weight room
  • an expanded area for cardiovascular workouts
  • four indoor tennis courts that are designed to meet United States Tennis Association specifications. The Racquet Club held four indoor tennis courts, but none of them met the specifications outlined by the United States Tennis Association. Fisher said the courts at the Racquet Club were not spaced to meet the specifications.
  • a bouldering wall

    The gymnasium will open with the rest of the facility, but will quickly be shut down as the Sundance Film Festival approaches. Festival organizers will return to the gymnasium with a screening room after a one-year absence during the construction. Fisher said the gymnasium will be closed on Jan. 12 for Sundance setup and will reopen after the festival.

    City Hall had operated temporary workout space during the construction in the Iron Horse district.

    There was widespread community support for the work. The Racquet Club dated to the 1970s, when it opened as a private-sector athletic club. It was acquired by City Hall in 1987. A major renovation was completed two years later. In the 20-plus years since then, the facility began to show wear and tear.

    The Park City Council agreed to spend the $10 million-plus on the work even as the recession was putting strains on the municipal budget. Leaders argued an athletic community like Park City deserved a top tier recreation facility.

    A grand opening ceremony is planned on Jan. 6 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. More information is available on City Hall’s website, http://www.parkcity.org , by selecting the ‘Recreation’ link on the front page.

    The facility will be open on New Year’s Eve from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Hours on New Year’s Day are from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.