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Mannford Center Seeks to Draw Bigger Crowd

April 9, 2005

Mannford’s Activity Center has proven popular, but city leaders and board members would still like to see it used by more people.

Two months after the activity center opened its doors in March 2004, its roster showed more than 300 members and has about the same number now.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” said Cecilia Ward, finance director for the city of Mannford.

“It’s definitely not a money maker and we hope to break even in the future.”

January was the busiest month with lots of people wanting to exercise after making New Year’s resolutions.

Ward said they hope to market the facility to outlying communities and to more Mannford residents.

“Some people still don’t know about it. Hopefully they’ll walk around, notice the facility and come look and see what we have to offer,” she said.

About $2.5 million was allocated for the activity center from a $5.5 million bond issue passed in 2001.

“The community wanted a facility for youth but it’s turned out be a facility for the whole community. We have quite a few senior citizens who participate in water aerobics,” Ward said.

The 12,000-square-foot center at 100 Cimarron St. includes a heated pool, a multipurpose room and a fitness center.

Water aerobic classes tend to be the most popular at the center with 25 people enrolled in the morning and 15 to 20 in the evening.

Center Administrative Assistant Donna Bradfield said the people they have spoken with are happy with the programs offered.

A survey was sent to members and the community requested more free weights, Bradfield said.

As a result, the visitor’s information area is being moved to the lobby and more free weights will be available in the fitness equipment room.

“We’re hoping to get more male members with the free weights. We’re happy to offer that for them,” Ward said.

During spring break, a two-day Sponge Bob mini-camp was held for kids.

“It was a trial program and hopefully we’ll offer more in the future,” Ward said.

Karate classes are available along with swim lessons for youth.

The activity center is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The facility is closed Mondays.

The center is open to members only, but a daily swimming pass may be purchased by anyone.

Family memberships cost $30 to $35 a month, and individual memberships cost $20 to $25.

For more information, call 865-6891.




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