After giving more than two decades of service to the area, the Greenwood Community Center no longer met the needs of the residents and was primed for a makeover. A year in the planning, nine-and-a-half months in the making and $2.7 million later, the upgraded facility reopened in January this year to the eager anticipation of the community.
Why Makeover Now?
“When [the Center] was originally built 23 years ago, we didn’t have to market it. There was nothing else like it at the time,” said Rob Taggart, Executive Director of Greenwood Parks and Recreation. “But three years ago, we noticed that we had a consistent decline in our numbers and in our revenue. We were no longer relevant … people had other options in the area and were leaving us. We knew we had to repurpose the Center.”
Creating Kid City
Taggart, who has worked for the City of Greenwood for nine years, went on to explain the launching point behind the renovation. “We considered what was missing in the local community and realized there was a deficit in year-round youth recreational play area options,” he shared. The result of that investigation is now known as Kid City, one of several additions to the Greenwood Community Center during its extensive renovation. Kid City features an indoor Luckey Climber and an outdoor Musical Garden.
Indoors, the two-story space provides a year-round indoor play zone for children with STEAM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activity centers. The Luckey Climber, made of rotational molded plastic suspended by steel pipes and cables, encourages imaginative play important for a child’s intellectual development. Luckey Climbers have been featured in play areas, museums and parks the world over, and the Greenwood Parks Department has brought that same technology to the local community.
Once children step outside into the Musical Garden, they are afforded the opportunity to explore vibration, sound and music, all the while surrounded by the music of nature.
Not Just for Kids
In addition to incorporating the new Kid City, the Greenwood Community Center also made many changes appealing to adults as well. During the renovation, the majority of the previous facility was gutted and rebuilt from scratch. The adult workout area, for instance, was expanded and modernized and now features the most up-to-date weightlifting and cardio equipment.
Additionally, a separate environment was designated for adult fitness classes. Some of the classes currently on the schedule include Chair Yoga, Intro to Belly Dancing, PiYo, Yoga Flow, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Kangaroo and Weight Loss Classes.
The main gym features two full-length basketball courts and nine regulation-size goals. It is open daily for basketball as well as on designated evenings for volleyball.
Open to All
Memberships, as well as Day Passes, are available for purchase by both Greenwood residents and nonresidents alike. Memberships and Day Passes give individuals access to the gym equipment and open space; admission to Kid City and the fitness classes are charged separately.
The Greenwood Community Center also offers multiple spaces available for rent for parties or meetings; this service is available to both members and nonmembers.
Before- and After-School Recreation Program
Another service provided at the newly-remodeled center is a fully-supervised before- and after-school recreation program for children in first through fifth grades. It runs Monday through Friday during the school year from 6:30 a.m. to the beginning of the school day as well as from the end of the school day to 6:15 p.m. Bus service for the program is available for V.O. Isom, Southwest, Northeast and Westwood Elementary Schools.
The Parks and Recreation Department considers the time and money spent to overhaul the Greenwood Community Center worth the investment. “We couldn’t be happier with the rave reviews and positive comments from the community. We were looking for, and have received, the ‘Wow!’ reaction from them when they walk into the Center,” said Taggart.
“I can honestly say that there’s no other parks department in Indiana who is doing what we’re doing in Greenwood … No one else is doing the same kind of thinking outside of the box. We are excited to offer this Community Center to the residents of Greenwood.”
For full details on fitness class offerings, rental costs and other detailed information, visit the City of Greenwood’s website at greenwood.in.gov.