In the Spotlight: Construction Begins on Downtown Recreation Center
The Town of Garner has entered the construction phase of our much-anticipated new recreation center. The approximately 40,000-square-foot facility is being built on the corner of Main and Montague streets in downtown Garner (with an accompanying stormwater device being built at U.S. 70 and Montague). The facility is expected to open in late 2017. The center, made possible in part by voter-approved parks and recreational bonds, will provide a hub for health and activity in downtown Garner.
The building will feature three gymnasiums with high-school regulation-size basketball courts that also can be used for volleyball and other activities. The courts will have wooden floors and bleacher seating to accommodate several hundred people. The three gyms will be divided to allow different activities in each area.
On the second floor, accessible by stairway or elevator in the lobby, will be an elevated walking track that is open to and encircles all three gymnasiums. At one-ninth of a mile in length, the track will be longer than most indoor walking tracks found in recreation centers.
The center will have a large multipurpose room and group fitness classroom. Off the multipurpose room will be a small warming kitchen for summer camp and rental use. There will also be a large arts and crafts classroom as well as two sets of restrooms including shower facilities.
Although specific programs at the recreation center have not been determined, many new and expanded activities are being considered, including the following:
- expansion of the Town’s popular basketball and volleyball leagues
- daytime programs for all ages, including walking opportunities on the long track
- after-school programming and more specialty programs made possible by the ample space in the facility
- growth of the Town’s summer camp program, which will benefit from the new facility as far as number of children that can be accommodated and increased variety of activities
- additional adult fitness and exercise classes to relieve some of the pressure at the Garner Senior Center
- the possibility of new leagues for youth and adults as well as athletic camps
The facility’s design will complement the existing buildings in Garner’s historic district. The site’s topography lends itself to creating a two-story Main Street façade and a taller, more dramatic entry as visitors approach from Montague Street off of U.S. 70. Outside amenities will include a walking trail, an open play field and ample parking.
Check out this really cool animated rendering of what the recreation center will look like.
Until the new recreation center is completed, Garner’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department will continue to offer a multitude of recreational leagues and programs for the community at Avery Street Recreation Center (125 Avery St.) and the Garner Senior Center (205 E. Garner Road).
-Rick Mercier, communications manager,
and Rob Smith, assistant director, PRCR