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Public Recreation Departments Announce Facility Updates

Several parks and recreation departments across the country opened new facilities or announced plans or proposals to make improvements to existing facilities in the past week:

New rec center. The city of Sugar Land, TX, opened its first municipal recreation center on Saturday. The 17,000-square-foot Imperial Park Recreation Center, managed by the city’s parks and recreation department, features a gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and other team sports, and a fitness studio for group exercise classes, including Zumba, Jazzercise, core fitness and yoga.

Aquatic facility opening. The Rosemead (CA) Aquatic Center will celebrate its grand opening this weekend. The $6.5 million municipal aquatics center was built with city redevelopment funds and replaces a public pool built in 1956. The facility features a 40-meter pool that will be used for leisure and competition swimming, bleachers for spectators and a locker room with showers. The pool will be heated in part by solar panels that the city’s parks and recreation department officials say will reduce its energy requirements by 30 percent, according to local media reports.

Solar panel installation. The Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill, MD, has received a grant of almost $300,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to install solar panels that will provide an alternative energy source for the facility. The current plan allows for construction of a 37-kilowatt system, which would produce approximately 10 percent of the center’s electricity. The county is investigating whether the grant also could provide sufficient funds for additional solar panels, according to local media reports.

Recreation projects vote. Residents of the city of Macon and Bibb County, GA, will vote on a special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) proposed by a city-county recreation advisory committee when they go to the polls this November, according to the website The SPLOST would raise up to $42 million to improve, renovate or rebuild several aging municipal recreation centers.

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