When Thornton’s last state-of-the-art recreation center came online in 1994, you needed a good pool, some gym space and a few breakout rooms. The city’s newest center goes well beyond that, with …
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When Thornton’s last state-of-the-art recreation center came online in 1994, you needed a good pool, some gym space and a few breakout rooms.
The city’s newest center goes well beyond that, with climbing walls, a fitness garden complete with cross fit truck tire exercise areas, dance and group exercise rooms and a slew of other options.
“What makes Trail Winds unique is that there will literally be something there for everyone,” said Facility Coordinator Grant Reynolds. “You have niches and we’re going to try and fill all of those needs.”
The new recreation center official opens for activities on Nov. 4, a Monday.
But the weekend leading up to it is full of activities. Officials are scheduled to cut the ribbon on the center at 2 p.m. Nov. 1 with an open house Nov. 2 and 3. The aquatic area, fitness equipment and rooms won’t be open for use but residents can tour the area and get familiar with what it offers. Each person touring the facility on Saturday and Sunday will receive two passes to use later on and the first 50 will get a commemorative towel.
Work on the Trail Winds Recreation began May 2018 on the northwest corner of the Trail Winds Park and Open Space, south of 136th Avenue and Horizon High School, just west of the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.
“We’ve tried to create a state-of-the-art facility that gives all the workout possibilities that are out there,” Thornton Recreation Superintendent Chris Steinke said.
The 87,000 square foot facility adds some new options to Thornton’s fitness options and expands others. It’s being offered as part of joint package with the Carpenter Center, with residents paying $300 per year for unlimited use of either facility. Daily drop-in fees at either facility are $4.25 for residents and $5.75 for non-residents.
The center is broken into two wings, with an education wing on the west side and recreation and fitness area on the east side.
The education wing includes an adult education section as wells as a preschool area and large breakout room that can be divided into three smaller areas.
“We can host choir performances, dance performances — you know, that kind of stuff,” Van der Sanden said. “We have a pre-school program, and I’m sure they’ll do preschool graduations here. We have a dance program and I’m sure they’ll do rehearsing and stuff here, too.”
At the center is a 25-foot-tall climbing wall that greats everyone coming in the main entrance. Van der Sanden said it will be staffed regular attendants.
“It’s only going to be open when that staff is on duty,” he said. “It’ll be somewhat limited when we get started, but we hope over time we can start doing classes and birthday parties.”
The first floor hosts the aquatics area with a lap pool, a lazy river and a warmer therapy pool as well as two two-story slides that wind their way outside before depositing swimmers back in the pool.
That’s next door to the gymnasium, which will host basketball, pickle ball and volleyball programs.
“The goal is to do opposite-daily programming compared to what we’re doing at Carpenter,” Van der Sanden said. “This will give people the opportunity to play their favorite sport — basketball, volleyball, pickle ball, whatever — every day of the week. They can play one day at Carpenter, the next here if they want.”
Above that is the fitness area, with state of the art equipment and one-twelfth mile running track.
The western part of the building features three group exercise rooms — one for spinning, one for led aerobic programs and a third just for dance. There’s plenty of room for big classes in each, but there’s also television that will have virtual instructors.”
“We have a 22-inch console in here,” he said. “Basically, its a touch screen and you can program your workout — whatever you want do. If you want to do a spin class, it will be transmitted to the big screen TV at the front of each room. If you miss a class but you want to come in on your own, you can do it.”
All three have large doors can be opened into the fitness garden, with artificial turf and more equipment.
Carpenter up next
Steinke said the city plans to work on renovations at the Carpenter Recreation Center once Trail Winds is up to full speed.
“What’s driving the project there is the pipes below the pools there are leaking and we need to fix them, and that involves jackhammer all the concrete to get at them,” Steinke said.
Work there is scheduled to begin in November.
“We’ll start demolition in November and then it’ll be about a year’s project,” Steinke said.
Carpenter’s aquatic programs will move to Trail Winds until that work is done, although the rest of the recreation center will stay open.”
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