What will happen to current employees of Genesis Lifestyle & Fitness Center and the Y?
It is our belief all current Genesis Lifestyle & Fitness Center employees must be good at what they do or wouldn’t have their current job, so we expect all employees to make the move if they so choose. There will be new positions with the MRC requiring additional staff. The Y will continue to operate out of the Park Central location.
What kind of membership fees will the Muskingum Recreation Center charge?
There will be a wide variety of membership structures for the Musking Recreation Center. The fees will be slightly more than currently charged by Genesis Lifestyle & Fitness Center, but below the industry standards for a facility with amenities similar to the Muskingum Recreation Center.
Why isn’t Zane State College part of this initiative?
Before the committee was formed Zane State College was asked to be part of the partnership, however they declined as they have a building project of their own. That said, Zane State has expressed that the Muskingum Recreation Center will be a great addition to the campus and Zane State students will benefit from having such a facility on campus.
What is the projected time line for the project?
Currently we are planning to break ground on the Muskingum Recreation Center in 2012 with construction estimated to take bewteen 14-16 months.
Which one of the partners will be in charge of the Center?
A Board of Trustees made up of representatives from each one of the partners as well as three community representatives will participate equally in the oversight of the facility through a joint operating agreement. Beth Chapman from Genesis Lifestyle & Fitness Center will serve as Executive Director of the Muskingum Recreation Center. She will oversee the day-to-day operations and will report to the Muskingum Recreation Center Board of Trustees.
Why don’t we have an outdoor pool?
Our consultant has advised us that an outdoor pool is best left to a future phase of this project because in our climate outdoor pools can only be operated three months of the year, therefore, outdoor pools are not self supporting. In fact, it is difficult for indoor pools to be self supporting unless combined with other fitness components and programming. Because having a community pool was overwhelmingly the number one item identified as a community need, the consultant advised that starting with an indoor pool(s) is the most economical way to proceed. There is indeed room for expansion of the facility and an outdoor pool is likely to be part of that expansion.
What do you say to those that believe other locations would be better….more centrally located, easier access and the like?
Although the community has been looking for thirty years, it has not found a better location. The partners believe the efficiencies of the OUZ location as well as the close proximity to Park Central (formerly Armco Park) make this the best central location for the facility. Using this location requires no expense for the land and comes with an existing gymnasium, parking and infrastructure. Furthermore, the campus location has fairly easy access due to its proximity to the interstate, the Northpointe bypass, and Maple Avenue. Because of the number of OUZ/Zane State students who already utilize public transportation to get to classes the Z-bus already makes regular runs to the campus 5 times per day Monday through Friday. We will work with Z-Bus to increase service once the facility is completed so that all those wishing to enjoy the facility will have the opportunity to do so.
Why undertake this project now during the economic downturn and when other entities are also fund raising?
We are aware these are difficult economic times, which is why the partners thought it was so important to work collaboratively. If each partner pursued their own project….such as the Y building a pool or Genesis Lifestyle & Fitness Center expanding its fitness facility….. it would be decidedly more costly to each individual entity, to possible donors and the community at large. And although it may not be an ideal fund raising climate, building costs have dropped over the last 18 months as a result of the tight economy so perhaps in some ways the timing is positive.
We also believe in many ways the project timing is right because the project can have a positive impact on the local economic outlook by creating jobs, serving to help attract new business and industry, and attracting visitors to the area. Furthermore through our feasibility focus groups and surveys last fall we discovered that many families and individuals, swimmers and swim teams are traveling to neighboring counties to utilize similar amenities. The new Aquatic/Fitness Center would keep those dollars here in our own community.
Finally, we understand that at any given moment there are other worthwhile projects and charitable entities looking for support from the community, therefore it is almost impossible to avoid all other efforts. The idea of bringing an Aquatic/Fitness Center to our community has been continually explored, investigated and talked about every since the old YMCA was torn down many years ago so it is not a new endeavor. The Muskingum Recreation Center partners have been working on this effort diligently and systematically for the last year and half to ensure the project is will be financial y self sufficient after it is built, rather than a financial burden to the community. Whatever the timing, it seems that this project is long overdue.