New Richmond Area Centre to show off new spaceStaff and members of The New Richmond Area Centre in New Richmond are all smiles now that the renovations and construction are complete.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
Staff and members of The New Richmond Area Centre in New Richmond are all smiles now that the renovations and construction are complete.
Now, they want to show it off to the rest of the community.
A community celebration and open house are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“We want to give the community an opportunity to come in and see the changes,” said Darian Blattner, director of The Centre.
The event will give the public an opportunity to receive tours, attend the ribbon cutting and participate in various programs.
“They can come in and walk around and look around and participate in some of the activities here,” Blattner said.
The new renovations include an addition with multiple community rooms, an updated Kids Kove area, renovated receptionist area, and toddler slide in the pool.
The day’s schedule includes tours of the building from 10:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.; a program and ribbon cutting is slated for 11-11:30 a.m., followed by an afternoon of food and fun until 2 p.m.
All the proceeds from the food sales will benefit the New Richmond Area Ambulance Service, Blattner said.
The Centre has had a varied and interesting history, starting as a Wisconsin National Guard Armory constructed in 1951 and functioned as such until 1995. In 1995 the city raised money to build the Friday Aquatic Centre led by a generous donation from Fritz Friday, founder of Friday Canning (now Lakeside Foods). The city operated the Aquatic Center until March 2004.
After negotiations with the YMCA of Greater St. Paul, the facility became a YMCA and as part of the agreement constructed an addition. The YMCA operated the facility until December 2008.
Negotiations with a group of local volunteers resulted in turning over operations of the YMCA to The Centre board of directors as the Centre on Jan. 1, 2009 with 770 memberships.
During the first year as The Centre membership grew to 1,400 and a renovation took place to refurbish the gymnasium and added a second group fitness studio, weight room and hardwood gym floor.
In March The Centre began the process of major renovations including the renovation of existing space and removal of the older, two story section to the old armory, replacing it with a new addition that spans the entire length of the building. This included three youth-focused rooms, expanded Kids Kove (the drop in area used by parents while at the Centre), renovated lobbies and three new community rooms.
Membership has grown to more than 2,000 memberships representing more than 5,500 individual members and includes members from a 20-mile radius.
Those interested in joining The Centre can also do that this weekend, Blattner said. Joining fees will be waived all weekend long — saving new members about $50.