When the construction dust settles sometime before next summer, Anthem Community Center should seem more spacious and efficient in key areas, including the bottlenecked entrance and the often-crowded second-floor gym.
County permits and contractor bidding is expected to be completed in September for an estimated $700,000 project to remodel parts of the building.
If all goes as planned, “construction would begin in October or early November during traditionally slower attendance periods at the Community Center,” said Kristi Northcutt, spokesperson for Anthem Community Council, which approved the project earlier this year. “Project completion could be in first quarter 2018 based on this timeline,” with the goal of being ready for the busy summer months.
Expect some disruption during the project, though no project schedules have been prepared yet. “Our goal is to continue to operate the Community Center during construction with minimal disruption to users, with safety as a top priority,” Northcutt said.
Upstairs, a roughly 900-square-foot balcony on the east side will be enclosed to house a new, dedicated area for free weights. “With new rubberized flooring, disruption from free weight impacts on the first floor will be lessened,” Northcutt said. Moving free weights into the new space “will allow more separation between some of the workout stations” elsewhere in the gym, she said.
There are no plans to add additional equipment, nor will the stretching area on the gym’s west side be expanded, though Northcutt noted that the second-floor fitness room—used for spinning, Zumba and other aerobics classes—can be used for stretching when class is not in session.
A new storage room for stationary bikes will be built next to the fitness room, so the room will be less cluttered when bikes are not in use.
A unisex bathroom will be installed near the fitness room, accessible from the main gym area.
The first-floor entrance area will be reconfigured with a new automated turnstile that residents can pass through without any human help. Visitors or anyone missing a key card will find a welcome desk before the turnstile, where ample space will allow card holders to pass by without waiting.
Office space behind the welcome desk will be redesigned to be more open, and new space will accommodate overflow storage often found clogging hallways.
The remodel and expansion is one of four enhancement projects planned for construction over the next three years. Others include: a dog park, outdoor pickleball courts and an expansion of the skate park.
The projects will be paid for out of the enhancement fund, fed by a quarter-percent fee on the sales price of homes and earmarked for enhancements that benefit the community, not for operating costs. The fund was used most recently to build Opportunity Way Park.
If left untapped, the enhancement fund would hold about $1.6 million by the end of this year, according to Community Financial Officer Doug Greenstein. Based on preliminary estimates from council staff, the four projects—to be started in a staggered sequence—will cost about $2.7 million. Estimates considered conservative by the board show the fund dipping as low as $275,000 during the three-year construction effort, then rising to $1.5 million by the end of 2022, barring any collapse in the housing market.