It’s been talked about for months. It’s been in the planning stages for years. Now, it’s finally here – the Recreation Center renovation.

In the next few weeks, construction will begin to renovate and update much of the building that houses the Recreation Center on Springfield Pike. There will be a new fitness center and new locker rooms located on the first floor, new space for the Day Camp downstairs and replacement of much of the HVAC system. The renovations will add windows in the new fitness center space for more natural light, and the locker rooms will include new shower space and updated amenities.

Of course, this much change cannot come without a little inconvenience. Most of the first floor of the Rec Center will be impacted by the changes, which may mean temporary lack of access to certain areas and re-routing of patrons to an alternative entrance and exit in order to avoid direct contact with construction work as it unfolds. The Rec Center staff will announce many of these brief changes through email. So keep a close eye out for bulletins about construction progress and class and facilities updates.

In particular, the fitness studio may be closed in late August and early September as plumbing work begins. The fitness center (access to treadmills, weight equipment), however, is expected to remain open.

Phase 1, which includes the first floor and the HVAC update is expected to be complete in November. Phase 2 will begin in January and will include renovation of the basement space where the new Day Camp will be located. More news about Phase 2 will be announced in the fall.

“We thank all the Rec Center patrons for their patience as we get this hotly anticipated project underway,” says Rachel Leininger, director of Recreation and Citizen Engagement. “I think everyone who uses the Rec Center will be thrilled with the new facilities as we unfold them later this year.”