Step by step, the City continues remaking the Taylor Recreation Center. The facility is currently closed through May 2 to begin massive improvements. It will reopen on May 3, but the weight and cardio rooms and second-floor walking track will all remain closed through May 11. Batting cages, Zumba, Tiny Tumblers, karate and spinning classes will all be available from 4:30-8 p.m. from May 3-11.
The majority of newest improvements will go into the weight room, and include over 1,700 square feet of new rubberized flooring, complete with a 16- by 10-foot custom “Taylor Recreation Center” inlay floor logo. All of the equipment will be replaced: Smith Machine, combo bench, squat rack, leg press, squat machine, lat pulldown machine, fly machine, two sets of dumbbells with storage, three adjustable benches, shoulder seated bench, preacher curl bench, all weight plates and bars, EZ and hammer curls, hex bar, decline sit up bench, hyper extension bench, T Bar Landmine, standing hip-glut machine, seated dual ab-back machine, dip knee raise, and two four-station multi-gym machines.
The cardio room will receive four Elliptical machines, three treadmills, a climber and recumbent bike. A new HIT room will be outfitted with a cross-fit style rig and kettle bells.
All of this is approximately a $100,000 investment. Hidden benefits to the major upgrade include the fact that weight trees will no longer be required anywhere in the facility. All storage will take place on the actual stations. This increases safety in the building, and offers much better storage. While Matrix Fitness is handling all of the equipment and weights, its subcontractor, Spec Athletic, will do the flooring. Spec Athletic is a high-end athletic floor dealer, and has provided numerous NFL and Big Ten facilities with flooring including both the University of Michigan and Michigan State.
The TRC was shuttered by budget constraints before the Sollars Administration took over in late 2013. It reopened in 2014 and much of the first-floor flooring was replaced. That was followed by major renovations in the gymnasium, which was turned into an indoor baseball/softball center to better service the community huge youth Little League population. The City also created the Taylor Business Center, which houses tenants in a “shared” business atmosphere. The most recent addition was a high-tech “spinning” studio. The business center portion of the building has been leased to capacity for two years, and the spinning studio was a big draw before the pandemic.
“We’ve undergone an improvement process on a step-by-step basis,” Recreation Director Guido Ulin said. “The facility needs new equipment and the weight room needs a facelift. We feel that this new plan has accomplished these goals, and will offer our customers a much better experience.”
The planned improvements that the recreation center are just another step in a long list of building and grounds improvements that have already taken place, or are taking place right now. Included has been asphalt renovations in parking lots across the City; outdoor lighting along the Fletcher Park Discovery Trail, Atlas Park and Priebe Plaza; security upgrades throughout City Hall; cement work at Northwest Park Pool; building renovations in Heritage Park ; a computer room in the senior center; new batting cages at the Sportsplex; and new flooring in the police department.