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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Riverfront Community Center's $1.2 million upgrade to be completed by November

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  • Scaffolding shadows the roof of Riverfront Community Center and fence is in place across the front entrance of the 126-year-old building.
    Yet amidst the $1.2 million restoration of the building's original sandstone, a banner hangs stating that, despite the construction, the Community Center is open.
    One of the main problems the Community Center has faced since it began undergoing the project at the beginning of the summer, manager Tammy Metzgar said, was the rumor that the building's restoration would halt daily activities.
    But, Project Manager Mike Hooper said the project was designed to do just the opposite.
    "They were designed to not interrupt the day-to-day operations as much as possible," Hooper said. "The removal of the west wall of the main entry, and reconstruction of that, we knew that was going to shut down the main entry for awhile."
    The Community Center hosts various events and offers exercise opportunities. Originally the Leavenworth Union Depot, the building was converted into Leavenworth's Community Center in 1988.
    The basement boasts the only indoor swimming pool and basketball court open to the public in Leavenworth and also includes a weight room, racquetball courts, an indoor track and exercise rooms. Built atop that is meeting and special event rooms housed in the original male and female train passenger waiting rooms.
    One perk of construction, Parks and Recreation Aquatic and Special Events Supervisor Nancy Baker said, has been the discovery of the basement's exercise potential.
    "When we first had people come in that way, there were folks who would come in for Rotary or the Lions lunch, that would come in just for meetings, they'd never been in the basement before," Baker said. "It gave us an opportunity to show off what else we have."
    The Community Center's weekly schedule includes exercise classes, including yoga, Crossfit and Zumba, and also dance, self-defense and Tae-Kwon Do classes.
    One of Metzgar's primary concerns, she said, when construction began was how the noise coming from the restoration would affect classes, particularly those that need a quiet atmosphere, like yoga.
    Metzgar said the construction has been relatively unobtrusive.
    "It's kind of surprising, I thought it would be very noisy," she said. "It's really not bad. It hasn't bothered me at all."
    The restoration project, Hooper said, is set for completion in mid-November and is being worked on by Performance Contracting Inc. Though the fruits of the project are not yet visible from the street, Metzgar and Baker said they were recently given a look at the one stone piece of the building that is soon to be installed.
    If it's any indication, they said, by the time the building is completed, visitors will take notice.
    "We got to see a picture of the chimney cap that the stone carver has carved and it is gorgeous," Metzgar said. "The detail is astounding."
    Page 2 of 2 - A full schedule of events and classes can be obtained at the front desk of the Community Center or in the recently-released Leavenworth Parks and Recreation "First City Activity Guide."

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