Pool, weight room and rock wall
GYPSUM – Soon, residents of Eagle County be will able to see the mayor of Gypsum sweat more than he ever has during a Town Council meeting. Mayor Steve Carver is planning on putting in some major time at the new Gypsum Recreation Center, which is set to open Dec. 2. “I’m looking forward to using the weight machines, cardio vascular machines and the pool,” Carver said.
With a month left before opening day, the rec center is a bustling place. Last week, all the cardio equipment was brought in. The climbing wall has been installed, and is just awaiting its climbing pegs. “There is going to be a lot to do on that wall,” said Gypsum Town Manger Jeff Shroll, a rock climber. “You might say I really pushed for it,” The slide is in place, and concrete has been poured for the pool. Walls have been painted, and locker room tile has been laid. The indoor pool was the No. 1 citizen request and the second priority was the fitness area, said Steve Russell director of the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, which will run the center.”The other stuff is just a bonus. I think when they see it, they will be blown away,” Russell said. The pool will have a three lap lanes and a slide. There is also an indoor running track, which overlooks the gymnastics facility and basketball/volleyball court. Shroll, who is also the Eagle Valley High School track coach, said he knows a lot of people who can’t wait to use it. “I have quite a few track kids who are not doing winter sports, and they are champing at the bit to get in there,” he said.
Members will find a large weight room, spinning classes, aerobics studio, day care, teen room, senior room, indoor playground, party rooms, lounge area and a cafe.The money for the center came from several sources. In addition to a property tax increase, Gypsum voters approved the major funding by voting in a new, one cent sales tax in November, 2004. The tax revenues were dedicated for the rec center. The rec district gave $3.1 million, Eagle County contributed $500,000 and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs gave over $600,000. The rest of it came from Gypsum, which paid about $8 million. Once the rec center is up and running, there will be additional costs for upkeep and operation of the facility. Russell estimates it will cost about $900,000 a year to run the building. The town and the rec district will split the operating costs.Russell said the fees are introductory prices, which will increase at some point in the future. “They are a tremendous bargain right now,” he said. “We tried to make it as friendly and simple as possible. No one is tied to anything and you don’t lose any money.”In designing the center, rec district staff went to a rec center design and management school in Denver. They also visited dozens of rec centers throughout the Front Range. The group was really impressed with the Broomfield Rec Center – so much in fact, that the Gypsum rec center ended up being designed by the same architects, Russell said.
About 95 percent of the rec center’s employees will come from Gypsum and Eagle. “We are trying to take people off the highway and get them home early,” Shroll said. Russell said about 30 part-time workers also will be hired. Shroll said he is counting down the minutes until the center opens. “”This type of facility can help bring a town together,” he said.This article first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado