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Frances Meadows aquatic center hopping with new members

POSTED: January 6, 2009 12:27 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

A water aerobics class meets for a Monday afternoon workout at Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center. The center offers many different exercise classes for the public to join.

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It’s too cold for children to play in the elaborate outdoor Splash Zone at the Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center, but that does not mean residents are not enjoying the center’s other amenities.

"We’re now into our winter schedule, which is usually more of a down time," said Jone Taylor, division manager for the center. "And we don’t really seem to have that down time, which is great."

Since it opened four months ago, approximately 200 people have purchased annual passports to use the aquatic center.

Although the center had more than 10,000 visitors during its first few weeks of operation when people could use its outdoor amenities, Taylor said the center sold the most — 40 — annual passports in December.

"A lot of those were gifts for family members," Taylor said.

With the center in the off-season, Taylor says there has also been an increased demand for passes that give customers access to floor and water aerobics courses the center offers.

The demand for aerobics classes has been such that the center has had to add more classes to its schedule and offer more opportunities for people to attend those classes, Taylor said.

"We want to offer as many opportunities as we can," Taylor said.

It is not unusual for the center’s 10-lane competition pool to be full of lap-swimmers, Taylor said.

The open-lap swim is one of the center’s most used amenities during the winter months, she said.

"There are a lot of people that like the individualized lap swimming," Taylor said. "They can do that on their own and at their own pace."

In spite of the center’s apparent success, Taylor said she is still looking for ways to fill the center’s dull times. She recently started an outreach with home school students and offered classes at a greater variety of times for that purpose.

"Our main goal is to provide opportunities for people to be healthy and to work out," she said.

Although Taylor says the center has been able to hold water without the Splash Zone in operation, she knows when the outdoor play area opens in May the center will see many more visitors.

"We expect a significant increase (in annual passport purchases) when the Splash Zone comes back up," she said.



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