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Coming rec centers offer opportunities
Options include hoops, fitness classes
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Forsyth County News


New programs and fitness options will be rolled out this winter with the opening of Forsyth County’s two new recreation centers.

The centers at Fowler and Old Atlanta parks are scheduled to debut Feb. 13, adding options to the county’s lone existing center at Central Park.

Parks and recreation department staff presented some of the big plans they have for the new facilities’ extra space to the board during a recent meeting.

Expanded opportunities for both recreation and revenue set the focus.

Jim Brennan, county recreation manager, said the county will offer more flexible options in its fitness classes in conjunction with the new centers.

The FitClass pass will offer access to 10 classes a week that people can attend for a flat annual fee.

“This is really a good deal for our participants,” Brennan said. “You can use it at all three locations. … With one location, it was very difficult for us to offer something like this.”

To start out, he said, a morning class would be open Monday through Saturday and an evening class each Monday through Thursday.

Those with the pass can attend any of those, for $175 per year for ages 14 to 54 and $120 per year for those ages 55 and older.

Brennan said current fitness classes are typically offered for six-week periods at a rate of $50 to $65, which for a year would total “a heck of a lot more than $175.”

“The benefit, if we can really get this going, is to us financially,” Brennan said.

The planned pay structure for instructors, he said, would offer a flat rate per class, which would bring in more income for the department than the current percentage split.

Instructors would have incentive to promote their classes, Brennan said, since popular ones would be offered more often.

A gym pass for use at all three centers can also be bought, at a slightly higher rate than what’s presently charged at Central Park.

The two passes could also be combined for classes and gym use at a discount.

The two additional recreation centers also open up space for the county to offer a youth basketball program.

Clayton Munnell, youth athletic supervisor, laid out some of the details for the planned program to the board during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Two age groups — 9/10 and 11/12 — would be offered for each gender at a cost of $120 per county resident.

Each center would have 24 eight-person teams, for a total of 576 children being able to participate.

Overall, Munnell said the county strives to provide a different program than what’s being offered through the city of Cumming.

One of those key differences is an extra meeting per week, giving teams three times to gather, including games, he said.

The program also plans to be more selective of coaches, asking those interested to complete a test and a training session.

Following fall registration in 2012, basketball would start practices the first full week in November.

The county also plans to offer an All-Star league for each age and gender group.

From a financial standpoint, the recreational program could net a profit of about $34,000.

“We’re capable of running this without a booster club situation,” Munnell said. “We’ll make more money that way.”