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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Family Recreation Center Opens Amid Fanfare

Former YMCA Center Now Operated by City of Lake Wales


Last updated 11/21/2023 at 8:12pm

Courtesy City of Lake Wales

The newly-remodeled Family Recreation Center has reopened following the installation of new equipment and repairs to the city-owned building.

A newly-renovated Family Recreation Center is now open to the public with a full line-up of new equipment and freshened facilities. A ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city officials welcomed the first crowd of enthusiasts on Saturday.

The newly-refreshed building features new vinyl plank flooring flooring in the entry, lobby, rear hallway, childcare area, and the Turner Center meeting room. Those same areas have been freshly painted, along with walls in restroom and shower areas, which feature cleaned and sealed tile grout . The replacement of a "rotten" plywood ceiling in the gym area was included in the work, which was performed by SEMCO Construction for $78,976.37.

The city also replaced the aging weight benches and other training facilities with all new equipment at a cost of $310,082. Other expenses for the operation of recreation facilities bring the total cost of operations to $849,292, a figure which commissioners hope to offset with $400,000 in revenues from memberships.

Courtesy City of Lake Wales

A welcoming and relaxed lobby offers residents a place to sit and chat, or just enjoy good company.

The City of Lake Wales assumed operation of the large recreation center, which was formerly operated by the West Central Florida YMCA, based in Lakeland. That organization abruptly cancelled their management contract several months ago, a move that brought relief to some of the facility's regular users who had complained of a lack of maintenance and the cancelling of services.

Lake Wales city commissioners agreed to assume operation of the city-owned building, which includes a large pool and diving facilities, along with a gym and physical training facilities.

"Our goal is to create a fresh, modern space for families to engage in health and wellness activities," City Manager James Slaton said in a previous statement on the matter.

City residents receive a discounted membership, but all area residents are eligible to become members. Further information is available through a city website link here.


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