Colorado’s newest rec center poised to open |

Colorado’s newest rec center poised to open

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Two years after voters approved it, Colorado’s newest recreation center is set to open Dec. 18.

While the $16 million facility still doesn’t have a name, excitement is mounting as finishing touches take shape on the nearly 50,000-square-foot complex in Fraser.

Careful spending and successful raising of $1.5 million in alternative funding during the initial phases of the project has left contingency funds available for extra items such as a 35-foot climbing wall in the main lobby of the building. Complete with realistic waterstains, the rock wall has three automatic belay devices and a bouldering area with a earth-toned, padded landing area at its base.

The reception area includes a stone-encased, gas fireplace surrounded by comfortable seating, game tables, WiFi Internet access, flatscreen TVs and a built-in sound system.

Contingency funds also paid for a 12-person cedar sauna, a 10-person tiled steam room and a 20-foot waterslide dropping into the family leisure pool.

Initial plans called for only one, multipurpose pool, but the Fraser Valley Recreation Foundation was able to secure $600,000 from private foundations to build a separate, four-lane lap pool with an overflow edge.

“The flexibility this now offers us with programming is tremendous,” said Scott Ledin, director of Parks and Recreation for the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District.

The family pool, with a zero-depth, gently sloping entry, includes water features for young children and a lazy river with a moving current. A hot tub stands to the side of the leisure pool, providing a relaxing place for parents wishing to soak while keeping an eye on older children at play in the pool nearby. Tables and chairs in the pool area will serve the same purpose.

An ultraviolet purification system, paid for in part through a $40,000 donation from Rendezvous, will improve air and water quality help reduce chemical treatment in all three pools. The state-of-the-art, regenerative perlite filtration system will bring about some 70-80 percent savings on water usage, Ledin said.

The facility also includes an indoor court with poured rubber flooring (that’s easy on the knees) for basketball, volleyball, tennis, pickleball and badminton plus a 6,000-square-foot, competition-ready gymnastics area, all surrounded by an elevated indoor running and walking track.

The gymnastics studio, which serves the district’s single largest program, includes a sunken trampoline and foam pit with an overhead rope-and-pulley system that will be available to competitive ski and snowboard teams for practicing aerial moves.

Upstairs, a fully-equipped cardio and weight training facility leads into an aerobics room for exercise and yoga classes.

Almost all of the fitness equipment has built-in personal viewing screens with headphone jacks so exercisers can plug in and watch direct TV while they work out.

A community room with kitchen access will be available for public use.

The complex will cater to families by providing family changing rooms, a pool party room, a child watch room for youngsters 6 months to 8 years, and a boundless outdoor playground (being built next spring with a $40,000 grant from Grand County).

Most of facility, from the playground to the workout machines, was designed with accessiblity in mind, Ledin said.

The center will house the recreation district’s offices. In preparation for the grand opening, the district has hired four new full time employees and is in the process of hiring 15-20 full time equivalents to serve as life guards, teach classes and man the front desk. All together the rec district now has 10 full-time employees, Ledin said.

Memberships went on sale Nov. 21 with a few rate adjustments based on early feedback from the community. Daily admissions for Grand County adult residents cost $8. An annual adult membership costs $47 per month and an annual family membership costs $76 per month. Fraser Recreation District residents receive a small discount and non-residents pay slightly more. Fees for children, teenagers and seniors are also discounted.

Grand Park developer Clark Lipscomb donated some $4 million worth of land to kick off the project with the stipulation that the rec center be named the “Grand Park Community Recreation Center” unless a mutually-agreed upon name can be derived. To date, no alternative name has been identified.

Ledin said until the building has a name he is simply referring to it as “Colorado’s newest public recreation center.”

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or