Many of you have made it over to to the newly constructed (and remodeled) Northwest Recreation Center. Whether it's been to watch your kids splash in the pool, or trim off those unwanted winter pounds in the cardio room, you may have noticed a similar theme to your visit.
It's already too small.
"Parking is a nightmare sometimes" says one member of RPR. "In my last Zumba class (spelled "Zoomba" in some parts of the country) we were elbow to elbow in that little room. I'd hate to see what the kickboxing class looks like." Martin Jensen is quoted in an article in Park & Rec Trades that “The center has been busy since the day it opened. We have had to hire more staff to handle the number of patrons using the facility." Martin is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Salt Lake County's Parks and Rec System.
Granted this 62,000 square foot center is substantially smaller than many others across the valley. For example, The new J.L. Sorensen Recreation Center is nearly double its size at 107,500 square feet. However, the Northwest Recreation Center serves not only a smaller demographic, but one that's consistently labeled as less likely to exercise. In a survey completed in 2009 by the Deseret News, Rose Park was in the top 4 (of 64 neigborhoods) of the most obese neighborhoods with an obesity rate of 31.7% compared to Summit County which comes in at 11.51%. With all that fat that needs to be burned off, wouldn't it make sense that we would need a bigger facility? The massive Sorensen Center on the other hand serves the 13th most fit community in Herriman, Bluffdale, & Riverton.
Alas, that's not how our politicians understood the equation, for they are the ones that determined the spending budget from funds collected from the ZAP tax (Zoo Arts & Parks). They ultimately determined the size and scope of our new facility. All is not lost however, the efficiency of our new rec center is still being assessed. A lot more could be done in terms of offering classes more frequently. For example, spin classes are only taught a couple times a week and usually around 8 or 9 in the morning. Who can do that? Most folks are at work during that time. I'd like to open up our comments section to this story on what experiences you've had, good or bad, and what you'd like to see change. We'll be more than happy to pass the information on to the folks at the Rec Center in hopes that they might accommodate a few of our requests.