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Robert Lawrence is excited that running will mean less driving.
The south Forsyth resident has been traveling up to the Central Park Recreation Center on Keith Bridge Road in north Forsyth to get his exercise.
On Monday, he tried out the new equipment in the Fowler Park Recreation Center following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility.
County officials welcomed the center, the county’s third and second to open in less than a week, under sunny skies at Forsyth’s newest park.
Fowler opened a year ago at Hwy. 9 and Castleberry Road.
Last week, the county opened its second center, Old Atlanta Park, which has the same design and features as the Fowler center.
Commissioner Todd Levent, whose district includes Fowler Park, said residents in southwestern Forsyth have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the center.
“[It’s] going to be a well-utilized facility,” Levent said. “This is an outstanding addition to one of the greatest parks in the Southeast and will serve our community well.”
The 40,000-square-foot center includes two gymnasiums for basketball and other sports, an indoor walking track, fitness studio and cardio and weight room.
It also features a multipurpose room, dance classroom and community room with a kitchen.
Winter Construction built both new rec centers at an estimated cost of about $9.9 million, though park officials have said the total likely will be less.
The funding came from the parks, recreation and green space bond voters approved in 2008, as well as impact fees charged to developers.
Following the ceremony Monday, Kristy Howard took a look around the fitness studio at Fowler, where she’ll be teaching Zumba classes.
Programs will begin at the Fowler and Old Atlanta centers in March, as will a new offering called the FitClass pass.
The pass, available March 19, allows residents to attend a variety of classes included on a schedule for a fee, rather than signing up for each class individually.
“I think that’s going to be amazing,” Howard said of the offering.
Residents can also purchase a cardio/weight pass for use at all three recreation center gyms, or a FitPlus pass, which includes the perks of both passes.
The low-cost gym membership appealed to Lawrence, who left his private gym to start using the county centers.
“It’s real easy for me,” he said. “The cost out of pocket is amazing, especially the senior rate.”