Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aquatic Center Preps for Opening

“It’s the little things that make the Cullman Wellness & Aquatic Center so special, Cullman parks director John Hunt said. ‘The water has to be 86 degrees and the air 84 degrees,’ he said, standing beside the center’s competition-sized indoor pool and large hot tub. ‘That way it stays nice and doesn’t steam up in here.’ The public will have a chance to check out the new 110,000-square-foot campus at the grand opening ceremony on April 5 at 2 p.m. Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines will be on hand for the grand opening, and there will also be live music, food and guided tours. ‘Everyone in the community should come out,’ Hunt said. ‘It’s going to be a great day.’ The final phase of construction work is on schedule and officials expect no problems meeting the April 5 date. ‘The final touches are being put on and we’re really looking forward to the open house,’ Hunt said. The center will include a large fitness area stocked with new work out equipment, two competition pools for swim meets, a large basketball court, indoor walking track, a hot tub, vortex pool, waterfall, an outdoor pool and outdoor water slides. ‘This facility is something the residents of Cullman should really be proud of,’ Hunt said. An all access, 12-month single membership plan for the center costs $45 per month, while a family plan is $65 per month. The 15,000-square-foot fitness area will be managed by One Fitness, formerly SportsFirst, which is owned by Cullman Regional Medical Center. Jim Weidner, CRMC president and CEO, said the name was changed to reflect the larger scope of services offered. ‘That better represents what we’ll be bringing to the people,’ Weidner said. The fitness area will include access to 125 new stations of Cybex work out equipment (see the Spring 2009 issue of the Cullman Magazine for a full breakdown of equipment). Exercise classes, pilates classes, aerobics classes and spin classes will all be offered, as well. The facility also includes a gymnasium large enough to host two recreational league basketball games simultaneously. ‘For years, we’ve had 42 teams playing in one gym at Ingle Park,’ Hunt said of the department’s recreational basketball program. ‘This is something we need. Now we’ll have more space to host basketball games.’ A suspended walking trail with a rubberized track is above the gymnasium, acting as a balcony above the court. Saunas will also be available for members in the respective locker rooms. A massage therapist will also be on hand at the center, though massages are not included with membership. Conference rooms and multipurpose rooms will also be available for rent, which can be used for private meetings or gatherings.”


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