Time for a face-lift

Rec center set to reopen Sunday after maintenance

Kori Kowitz, an artist with Wisconsin-based FAST Corp., scrubs the frog slide at the rec center pool Wednesday. Kowitz travels the country to apply airbrushed paint touch-ups to FAST’s arsenal of custom-made fiberglass statues and pool accessories. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Kori Kowitz, an artist with Wisconsin-based FAST Corp., scrubs the frog slide at the rec center pool Wednesday. Kowitz travels the country to apply airbrushed paint touch-ups to FAST’s arsenal of custom-made fiberglass statues and pool accessories.

Jogging outside? Swimming in the bathtub? Heaving children aloft as makeshift barbells?

Fitness buffs are improvising with their exercise routines this week – or maybe consenting to a few days off – because the Durango Community Recreation Center is closed until 9 a.m. Sunday for annual sprucing up and repairs.

“Our custodial staff cleans the premises daily,” said manager Kelli Jaycox. “But this is the deep cleaning we can’t do when we’re open for business.”

Outside of maintenance week, which always coincides with the beginning of school, the rec center is closed only four days a year: Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day and Easter.

Jaycox gave an extensive list of work currently under way: paint touch-ups, plumbing improvements, carpet shampooing, replacing cracked tiles and giving the pool area a face-lift, to name a few.

In addition, the rec center is stripping its hardwood floors for the first time since it opened in January 2002, because the successive coats of oil-based finish were starting to yellow. Given time constraints, contractors will focus on resurfacing the racquetball courts and second-floor aerobics room this year. They’ll move on to the larger basketball gymnasiums in 2013.

“We’re sanding down to the bare wood and taking the 10-year-old (oil-based) clear coating off, then reapplying a new water-based latex coat,” said facility maintenance supervisor Chris Tasevoli.

The rec center logs an average of 1,100 paid visitors per day, Tasevoli estimated, in addition to groups that meet in the facility’s conference rooms and students who use the café and free game tables after school or over the summer. When multiplied across about 355 days, the volume of foot traffic leads to inevitable wear and tear.

The city hired six companies and at least 18 contracted workers to carry out the repairs. Regular rec center staff members also have been conscripted to scrub grimy surfaces, sweep out dusty corners and provide general elbow grease wherever needed.

In the aquatic area, the leisure pool has been drained entirely. Crews are scouring the water slide to remove calcium residue and covering the fiberglass frog and castle with a fresh layer of paint to brighten the colors.

Tasevoli was confident all improvements would be finished in time to greet eager visitors Sunday morning. In previous years, management allotted a full seven days (rather than six this year) for the touch-up.

“We might all have gray hair, but we’ll be open,” he said.

Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz said the refurbishing costs totaled about $25,000.

lgroskopf@durangoherald.com

Ralph Smith, of WhiteWater West Industries Ltd., rinses the freshly cleaned waterslide at the Durango Community Recreation Center pool. After cleaning the slide of calcium deposits on Wednesday, Smith buffed it to a shiny finish. The facility is scheduled to reopen Sunday after being closed a week for cleaning and repairs. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Ralph Smith, of WhiteWater West Industries Ltd., rinses the freshly cleaned waterslide at the Durango Community Recreation Center pool. After cleaning the slide of calcium deposits on Wednesday, Smith buffed it to a shiny finish. The facility is scheduled to reopen Sunday after being closed a week for cleaning and repairs.

Kori Kowitz, an artist with Wisconsin-based FAST Corp., airbrushes a coat of flashy yellow paint on the castle in the rec center leisure pool. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Kori Kowitz, an artist with Wisconsin-based FAST Corp., airbrushes a coat of flashy yellow paint on the castle in the rec center leisure pool.

Woodpride Flooring, a Denver company, was contracted to refinish the rec center’s hardwood floors. Here, Gene Batt applies a coat of water-based latex finish to the aerobics room. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Woodpride Flooring, a Denver company, was contracted to refinish the rec center’s hardwood floors. Here, Gene Batt applies a coat of water-based latex finish to the aerobics room.

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