Folks in Fruita have been flooding into the new community center. This weekend pass holders were able to get a sneak-peak of the $15 million building and start enjoying their memberships. Starting Monday, the general public can join in to exercise and socialize.
Many say it's something Fruita was desperate for. The facility is complete with a gym, senior center, and the newest branch of the Mesa County Library System.
"We love it," Fruita resident Jami Petree said. "It's awesome."
"It gives everything in Fruita something to look forward to, plus they can get fit again," gym member Syd Cannon said.
Basketball, gym equipment and even a pool are all waiting for you to jump in. But it's not just athletics.
"I can't believe all of the equipment and amenities," Fruita resident Sherrill Lizer said. "They thought of everything."
Sherrill and Wayne Lizer plan to use this center to bring people together and do what they love.
"We play for senior citizen dances, so we're hoping we can do more of that here," Lizer said.
They aren't the only ones.
"It's going to be a great place for kids to come and hang out, seniors to come out and hang out," Fruita's Parks and Recreation Director Ture Nycum said. "Be not only physically active, but socially active."
Nycum expects this center to be just that.
"I kind of look at it as the heartbeat of the community," he said. "I've done several tours where people have been emotional, they've been tearing up and things like that. It means a lot for the community of Fruita."
"They really needed something like this, because this town didn't really have very much and now having a nice community center like this it's beautiful," Cannon said.
Those who work at the center say they've had a fantastic opening weekend. They only expect more out of the public for weeks to come.
40-50 part time and five full time employees have been hired. Nearly a thousand people so far have signed up for passes. So what's the best part?
"The best part? I'd have to say the pool is pretty cool," Petree said.
Funds were raised in part by a 1% increase on the city sales and use tax. Other money was brought in by fundraising campaigns.
Many members of the community say they are thrilled to see their dreams of this building finally realized.
"I think it means a lot," says Fruita resident Linda Young. "I think it gives us a place to do things in the winter, and I'm absolutely thrilled. I can hardly wait to get started."
"We worked hard all these years for this," says Ellen Roberts.
With the help of others, Roberts has been collecting aluminum cans for years to help raise money for the cause.
Nycum says the next closest recreation center is in Delta. He expects Fruita's new center to draw people from all over the Grand Valley.
As far as fees, they have all sorts of options from punch cards to annual passes. For a complete list of amenities and information on daily rates and annual passes, log on to the City of Fruita's website at www.fruita.org. The link is in the center of the page.