Zachary Moffett

West Shore rec centre celebrates larger gym

The wait is over at the West Shore Parks and Recreation weight room.

After months of anticipation, gym patrons can now enjoy double the space to pump iron.

“Our clients have been asking for a bigger space,” said Denise Foster, WSPR fitness coordinator. “We can definitely better serve the fitness needs of the community. We will be able to admit all the people who want to come here.”

During the construction process the weight room remained operational for all but two weeks.

“The gym is already quite full and there is quite a lot of interest, and we are delighted,” said Linda Barnes, WSPR administrator. “You sort of drive off customers with renovations.”

While the weight room is a highlight of the expansion WSPR also added a fitness studio to what used to be a lawn. Prior to the studio, classes such as yoga, prenatal classes and pilates were scattered throughout the property, often in rooms not designed for fitness, Barnes said.

“We will be having 35 classes a week in this room,” Barnes said. “It’s for everyone from stroller fit moms to seniors.”

The additions to the building are built strong enough to hold a second floor if another expansion is needed in the future.

“The other weight room was not built strong enough to do that,” Barnes said. “Anything we did in this project was done for longevity.”

WSPR also added a slew of new equipment including octane ellipticals, treadmills, spin bikes and a suspension system for exercises such as pull-ups.

A glass door and turnstiles have been added to the hallway between the pool and weight room. “Now we have more control over the area, we are just tying everything together,” Barnes said.

The project began in May 2010. The overall cost for the project was $2.1 million. WSPR estimates the expanded fitness centre will bring in about $1.65 million per year, allowing it to pay off the loan in four or five years. “The plan is to recoup the costs,” Barnes said.

WSPR obtained a $724,900 grant from the recreational infrastructure Canada program and rec centre took out a loan for the difference.

“I can hardly wait until we apply for the next grant and can go for the next 10,000 square feet,” said Les Bjola WSPR society chair.

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