By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Patrons of the Cherokee Fitness Complex will notice several upgrades and areas of renovation going on now and continuing through the summer.
“The building is 15 years old, so it’s not been renovated and we’ve sort of outgrown what was originally there,” said James Bradley, EBCI Secretary of Education.
“They have taken out the Trane unit that sat in the back for the ventilation system, mostly to deal with the pool,” noted Bradley. “The humidity was really high in there. They’re upgrading all of that, and we’ll have a bigger system. Hopefully, we’ll have better air flow through that area.”
The pool has been drained for the first time and pressure washed. “The water gets replaced, but it’s not ever been completely drained out,” Bradley commented. “They’re pressure washing it, and then it’ll be refilled. While it’s empty, they’re looking are structural things to make sure everything is ok so that we don’t have any other issues.”
Bradley said a contract is about to signed to completely gut and redo the shower and locker room areas. “The shower area has a lot of problems with water leakage and standing water.”
The showers themselves will be redesigned for improved privacy. “We had shower curtains, and that promotes mold. That’s going to be completely redone.”
Renovations will be completed to two courts in the Complex. “We’re getting a new floor in the basketball court,” said Bradley. “Those designs are coming through currently…the racquetball court doesn’t get used much, so we’re trying to figure out that space.”
He said several ideas have come forward for the racquetball court space including turning it into an aerobics room or possibly an area where people can work on their golf swings.
Speaking of the current aerobics room, Bradley explained, “The aerobics room is very small with bad ventilation. If you get more than about five or six people in there, it gets really hot and really crowded. The access is not good now because you have to either go through the weight room or through the power weight room. So, we’re looking at where might be a better location for an aerobics room and expansion so we can offer more classes.”
The entrance to the facility will also soon see some changes. Bradley said there has been discussion of moving the front desk closer to the front doors and noted this would control traffic flow better and add to the security of the building. “Then, we’ll have that space, and that might be big enough to do an aerobics room.”
He said there is another exciting amenity for patrons coming soon. “They started a store, started selling products about two years ago. The original intent is there was a store area built into the Complex, but it’s never been utilized. So, we’re looking at opening up a smoothie bar and putting the store in that area. So, people can do pre-workout, post-workout, and if you’re on a diet and wanted to get a smoothie instead of going to get a hamburger, you could run over there and pick one up.”
Bradley said the store already in place has been successful. “It already exceeds projections.”
Of the overall changes to the Complex, he said, “The overall benefit is it gives us more of a market so hopefully we can attract more members which would increase our revenue. But, it also gives the staff more opportunity to offer classes.”