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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Rec Center gears up for summer camps, SilverSneakers programs

May 09, 2024 02:05PM ● By Cassie Goff

Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service Area (CHPRSA) Executive Director Ben Hill presented his annual report to the Cottonwood Heights City Council on April 2. Board of Trustee Members Bart Hopkin, Dan Morzelewski and Patti Hansen were in attendance to cheer him on. Assistant Director Lyse Durrant, Human Resources Director Melissa Ruff, and Recreation and Fitness Manager Bonnie Lee provided additional details when needed. 

One of the more exciting pieces of news for the Cottonwood Heights City Council is that the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center will be getting new fitness equipment in fall 2024. 

While the CHPRSA maintains parks and recreation areas in Murray, Holladay and Sandy, the Rec Center is one of the most populated facilities within the service area. It’s a 160,000-square-foot activity center that is open over 100 hours per week (located at 7500 S. 2700 East). 

The Rec Center is currently preparing for their summer activities. As 650,000 patrons tend to use the four indoor and six outdoor pools each year, lifeguard training is in full swing. They expect an average of 4,000 individuals to sign up for swim classes and the 26 water aerobics classes that are held each week. 

Summer camp programs are filling up as well. As the participants go swimming and ice skating every other day, the CHPRSA has been focusing on the ice skating rink. 

“We had an ammonia leak and it proved to be a lot more than ‘small,’” Hill reported. “The $200,000 expense was something we weren’t expecting, so we are going to have to dive into the fund balance to get that fixed.” 

Being the home rink for the Junior Grizzles and having popular ice skating classes and programs (including the Cottonwood Heights Figure Skating Club), they are trying to get the rink fixed as soon as possible. 

“The ice has melted, so maybe you can come play dodgeball or something,” Hill joked. 

While the city councilmembers do frequent the Rec Center, they were only five of the 6,490 total memberships sold during 2023. Seventy-two percent of those members were residents of the service area. Twenty-two percent were over the age of 65. 

“That means our seniors and SilverSneakers (participants) are traveling to us,” Hill said. 

The CHPRSA is also in charge of maintaining city parks including Antczak Park (7200 S. 1850 East), Bywater Park (3149 Banbury Road) and Butler Park (7500 S. 2700 East), Mountview Park (1651 Fort Union Blvd.), Golden Hills Park (8295 Wasatch Blvd.), Mill Hollow Park (2900 Hollow Mill Drive), and Ferguson Park (7721 Timberline Drive). 

This year, the CHPRSA is focusing on updating some amenities in Bywater Park. As many of the baseball field fences present safety issues as they are so old, the CHPRSA has opted for a portable fence for the home run area. In addition, they opted not to reopen the tennis courts in Bywater Park this year as the courts have been cracking.

“That can result in a sprained ankle—and you can’t really paint or fill it in,” Hill said. “We want to help the tennis community and go all hands in on the Bywater Park Master Plan.” 

The CHPRSA is an independent taxing authority. They are funded by a certified tax rate, memberships, bonds, grants and fundraising. 

“We have all of our bonds fully paid off as of 2021,” reported Hill. λ