Fruita Recreation Center promises fun for all ages with pools, library

The Lazy River section of the new indoor pool is under construction at the Fruita Recreation Center.

Fruita residents have only a few more months to wait before a new combination recreation center and library is unveiled in their town. Thanks to voter approval of a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase in 2008 and other fundraising efforts, funding for the $13.4 million project is expected to be complete sometime in January.

A sluggish economy has kept construction prices down, which allowed planners to add a few amenities back into the plan on the 55,000-square-foot complex on Cherry Street, directly south of Fruita’s Family Health West Hospital. That included adding tacking on two additional lap lanes to the indoor swimming pool and sun shelters for the outdoor pool, Fruita Public Works Director Ture Nycum said.

“I think the community is getting a great building,” he said. “I think it will be very, very used.”

Indeed, the new complex comes with enough bells and whistles to delight people of all ages.

The existing outdoor pool is being remodeled, and directly to the east will be the site of a new skate park. Large doors will allow users to come in from the outdoors pool to an indoor pool. The inside pool contains a kiddie area with water features and a lazy river or a winding body of water with a current.

A waterslide dumps into another pool, which is built to include five lap lanes. Space and plans have been made for a future, large winding waterslide, but that will have to wait for future funding of up to $400,000.

There is a room for pool parties and multiple changing rooms for individuals and families.

Inside also is a full-sized gymnasium ready for six basketball hoops, lines for volleyball and pickle ball. It’s rimmed at the top with a running track. A group fitness room will host plenty of fitness classes and cardio machines, free weights and a stretching area on the second-floor, all accented by a multitude of large picture windows.

At the building’s southwest side downstairs is a separate entrance for senior citizens to access a senior room. A kitchen connects the room. Space for three meeting rooms that can be partitioned off or serve as one great room will open to a back patio.

A teen room to be outfitted with a giant screen television will back up to the area, toward the center of the complex. Child care will also be available in a separate room. Office space for staff is centered in the belly of the building.

Mesa County Library is paying its own way for the $1.1 million construction of a new library to accentuate the site. It will include a children’s area, a teen area and ample space for adult fiction. The 7,000-foot-space also includes a cozy reading room with a fireplace and tall windows, space for computer users to use laptops and spaces for public access computers.

“We’re quadrupling our space,” Development Director Lois Becker said.

Construction is being completed with some environmentally friendly options in mind. Solar tubes direct natural light into most parts of the facility. A solar array should save 30 percent on the building’s anticipated $120,000 yearly utility costs. Timing systems will automatically turn off lights when they aren’t needed.

“I’ve seen a lot of facilities, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been done before,” Nycum said of the pool-library combination. “This building is designed with very much an open concept.”

Prices for admission vary by age with daily passes ranging from $3 to $6. Punch passes, annual passes and family passes also will be available. For information about the center, call the city of Fruita at 858-0360.


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