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Kahle Park unofficially open for use

Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

Are the new indoor basketball courts at Kahle Park a fun place to play?

“Oh, but of course,” said South Shore resident Rodney Gagnon who worked out during the first week of opening.

Kahle Park opened its $2.1 million Phase 2 project Monday. It includes two buildings: a concession stand with rest rooms, and a gymnasium with an indoor running track, kids’ room, locker rooms with showers, and weight room.



Park employee Janice Shaw said the turnout was not extraordinary this week because the park didn’t advertise, but those who used the facility were more than impressed.

“Every single person walks in and says, ‘Wow’,” Shaw said. “Wow and awesome are their first words.”




South Shore resident Dain Hallett said he liked the new facility much better than the smaller Phase 1.

“There’s a great view of the lake,” Hallett said as he looked out the windows of the second-floor weight room. “This (phase) is a lot bigger.”

Hallett said he’ll take full advantage of the suspended indoor running track once the weather turns cold.

“I’ll run on the track in the winter,” he said. “You can’t run in the snow unless you’re Rocky Balboa.”

County Recreation Superintendent Brian Fitzgerald said use of the new facility will be free of charge until the end of September.

“People can just come on in and check it out,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re not charging any drop-in use fees.”

Fitzgerald said contracted classes will not start until Oct. 1 and a few minor aesthetic improvements are still being addressed.

Fitzgerald said a ribbon-cutting and grand-opening party are still scheduled for Oct. 21.

Phase 2 came just five years after the department completed the first building at the park, which Fitzgerald said will be remodeled soon to include a large dance studio with cushioned and mirrored walls. A swimming pool is included in Phase 3 of the master plan but will not come to fruition for quite a while, according to Fitzgerald.

He said people can start buying passes anytime.

“Everything is functional,” he said. “I think people will be really impressed by what they see in the facility.”

Breakout Box #1:

Kahle Community Park is selling passes for the Phase 2 facility.

Kids 9 and under get in free.

Youth 10-17 Adult residents* Adult non-residents Senior rate, 55 and up

one day $3 $5 $5 $5

pass

30-day $10 $29 $39 $24

pass

annual $59 $159 $259 $149

pass

*A resident is someone who can verify a Douglas County address with two valid forms of identification.

Non-residents 55 years and older will pay adult non-resident fees.

Breakout Box #2:

Brand spankin’ new Phase 2:

n 14,000-square-foot gymnasium with six retractable basketball goals, two volleyball courts and gymnastics area

n 400-square-foot suspended, indoor track, with elevator access

n 500-square-foot kids’ playroom with gerbil tubes

n second-floor weight room

n men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and kids’ changing area


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