The newly renovated Decatur Recreation Center will be open for business on Feb. 4.
The recreation center, which opened in 1958, closed its doors in May 2011 for renovation. The original 26,000-square-foot building was widened to 34,400 square feet and went from two levels to three.
The $6.2 million project includes a new climbing wall and elevated track in the gym, new multi-purpose exercise and dance studio, institutional kitchen, new meeting rooms and lounge areas, additional staff office space, new plumbing and electrical systems, and new interior finishes. The improvements are also Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.
The Decatur Active Living and Children and Youth Services use the recreation center for services and have been using the Beacon Hill Center for the past year and a half. Decatur Active Living assistant director Cheryl Burnette said they are very excited to be coming back to the new and improved Decatur Recreation Center.
â[The recreation center] was approximately 60 years old and had not been renovated once,â Burnette said. âIt was just basically in need of a renovation to better serve the community.â
The biggest change to the recreation center is the gym.
âThe gym is basically all new,â Burnette said. âWe added a walking track above the gym. I think the walking track will be something really attractive to people and itâs free.â
The old bleachers were taken out of the gym to add more space. The gym was once used for Decatur High School basketball games. Construction workers renewed the old bleachers and and repurposed them on the walls and ceiling in the main entrance.
âSome of the boards from the gym floor have been made into tables as well,â Burnette said.
An administration suite was also added on the second floor to bring the Decatur Active Living and Children Services back into the same building. Burnette said they use to be in the same building years ago.
âWe really outgrew the [old building],â she said.
Another attraction in the center is the renovated kitchen. The kitchen is state of the art and has up-to-date appliances.
âWeâll be able to do some cooking classes and cooking demonstrations in there,â Burnette said.
The new recreation center also includes a multi-purpose studio that can be divided into sections to hold multiple exercise classes and activities. The studio has wooden floors.
âBefore, we had exercise classes that either had to be held in the gym or on a floor thatâs concrete, which is not good for your joints,â Burnette said.
The center has more space and conference rooms for people to rent and host parties.
Although the recreation center will be open for business on Feb. 4, the front desk is now open for registration for sports, classes and after-school programs, as well as payments and general information.
The Decatur Recreation Center is located at 231 Sycamore Street. For more information, visit www.decaturga.com/activeliving.