The town of Silverthorne recently announced that its recreation center would undergo a significant facility renovation this summer.
In response to the 2009 Recreation and Culture Department Strategic Plan, the cardio and weight equipment areas will be expanded and a new multipurpose room will be created. The changes will be made within the facility’s existing footprint, with additional square footage being gained by the removal of the center’s two racquetball courts.
Facility coordinator Steven Herrman, who oversaw the project’s design process, said he recognizes that some uses will be displaced in the remodel. However, space that is currently used by four to eight people in two racquetball courts will now be able to accommodate as many as 60 people at once.
Because the racquetball courts vertically fill two levels, repurposing them allows a second floor to be constructed, therefore doubling current floor space. Other uses, such as indoor cycling and free weights, will be reorganized in the remodel, with the amount of space available for each of those uses being increased, as well.
“It’s always a balance of uses in our center,” Herrman said, “but in this case, the numbers are clear. The newly renovated spaces will serve a far greater number of people than in the current configuration.”
The goal is to use current space more effectively, and this project essentially creates new spaces without expanding the facility’s exterior walls. While there are customers who regularly use the racquetball courts for racquetball and other activities, there are significantly more community members who will benefit from increased cardio and weight areas, rec center officials stated in a news release.
The recommendations in the strategic plan are based on feedback gained from a comprehensive public input process that included a mailing of 3,000 statistically valid surveys, public open houses, online and hard-copy surveys and stakeholder meetings. Physical improvements and best use of space were two of the plan’s primary recommendations. To achieve those goal, alterations already have been made to the community room, which is located adjacent to the lobby. The improvements increased the variety of programs that could be accommodated in the room.
The upcoming racquetball-repurposing project is Step 2, and the final step is consideration of a recreation center expansion. The town owns land behind the rec center that could be used for an expansion.
“That area is slated for expansion, but the question has always been, when?” Herrman said. Per the strategic plan, the answer is only after the recreation center’s existing spaces are used as efficiently as possible. Once that is demonstrated, if overcrowding continues, then the expansion becomes viable.
This will be the first major renovation of the recreation center since it opened in 1994. Planning has already begun for a ribbon-cutting celebration in conjunction with the center’s 20-year anniversary, which is on Wednesday, Aug. 20.