Fruita Community Center exceeds visitor expectations
At age 92, Fruita resident Ellen Roberts is grateful she has an indoor place to go for exercise.
She was an early supporter of the Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson St., which opened three years ago Jan. 24.
Roberts walks around the center’s gym six times whenever “I feel like I need exercise,” Roberts said.
She’s also uses the pool, attends dances regularly, and partakes of the potluck lunches and free movies that happen on a regular basis.
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The community recreation center “helps the old people keep their joints limber, and it keeps little kids busy off the streets,” Roberts said. “I’m happy with that, too.”
On Jan. 3, the community center celebrated with cake and give-aways to mark the anniversary of its opening and its greater than anticipated visitation.
Fruita Community Center proponents estimated during the planning process that there would be approximately 110,000 visits per year. Actual visits over the past three years have exceeded that number, averaging 167,000 visits per year.
Out of the 3,232 current FCC pass-holders, 30 percent are youth up to age 17; 50 percent are adults, ages 18-64; and seniors, ages 65 and older, make up the remaining 20 percent.
Those numbers do not include people who have visited the center for senior lunches, who are using the Fruita branch library located within the center, or have attended an event held in one of the community meeting rooms.
For example, approximately 100,000 people visit the library per year, and roughly 6,500 seniors come for lunch provided by Grey Gourmet or Thursday potlucks. Additionally, the community center hosts numerous events each year such as Arbor Day celebrations, Easter Egg Scrambles, business expos, arts and crafts fairs, bike rodeos, end-of-the-year school swims and chili suppers.
Phillis Bowers, 73, attends tai chi classes at the center to help her maintain balance and mobility in the joints. She also uses the pool, attends the dinner and movie nights, and has gone on several trips organized through the center — including excursions to Moab to look at petroglyph carvings or Glenwood Springs to soak in the hot springs.
Bowers said she gets more exercise since the Fruita Community Center opened.
“They have a great indoor walk area that I come and use, too,” she said. “And they have all kinds of exercise machines.
“I’ve lost a little weight and my blood sugars have gone down.”
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