STOCKTON — It’s a small, simple building, but what’s inside provides great service to the community.
In September, the Stockton Recreation Commission opened its new fitness center. Located on Cypress Street next to the city’s new water park, it helps bring the recreation activities for the community closer together.
“Behind here is all our ballfields. I can keep track of that a little better. And with the pool being close, it’s like all our recreation stuff is all in one area,” said Bridget Starbuck, director of the SRC.
The building was paid for through a bond passed by Stockton voters. The bond was split between the city for the new pool and the SRC, with the SRC paying off its $265,000 bond with its own funds.
The facility is available 24 hours a day and includes cardio equipment like treadmills and elliptical trainers, weight machines and areas for free weights and aerobics. There are also locker rooms with showers, something the center didn’t have at its previous location. Fitness-themed artwork made by local children hangs on the walls of its main room.
Single and family memberships are available by the month or year, and there are options for guest memberships as well.
The new fitness center also allows for other improvements over its previous home on Main Street, especially for older members and those going through a rehabilitation program.
“Being on Main Street, there was a step up to get in the building. Here, we’re ADA compliant. Everything’s flat and they can come in a little bit easier,” Starbuck said.
One big change took some adjustment for some members, though.
“In our older building, we had different rooms because it was an old office building. Here, we’ve switched to one big room, so there was some adjustment time with people being able to see other people and being looked at,” Starbuck said.
For Bert Niblock, that wasn’t much of a problem, though.
“It’s more open. I like that, but some people don’t like to be out where people see them,” she said on a recent morning as she used one of the center’s cardio machines.
She also likes that the cardio equipment faces the windows overlooking the ballfields.
“It’s nice now that we have windows and you can look out over the ballfields,” Starbuck said. “This summer when there’s games going on and practices, you can watch something.”
The center does have several televisions, and Starbuck said several members will come in and exercise while watching their favorite shows.
A $7,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation in Logan allowed for the purchase of some new equipment recently including a rowing machine, treadmill, hex bar, decline bench and calf raise machine.
The SRC also recently received a Fit and Strong grant from the National Parks and Recreation Association. The grant will provide training for Starbuck and material for programs directed at those 65 and older to help them get more active.
“That’s great for Stockton because a lot of our population is older. It’s going to work out really nice. Right here, there’s sidewalk all the way around the building we can utilize and then the ball fields for walking. It will be fun,” she said.
“My oldest member — she takes pride in being our oldest member — she’s in her 80s. She comes six days a week,” she said.
Younger members use the facility as well, though, Starbuck said. Members have to be at least 12 years old and can come in with an adult. Those 16 and older can use the facilities by themselves.
“The younger kids, they’ll come in with their coaches sometimes,” she said.
The center will occasionally feature programs for its members to participate in, such as the Get Lean in 2018 just getting underway. Participants can earn prizes for the percentage of weight they lose.
The facilities and programs are all part of providing Stockton residents with more options for getting fit, Starbuck said.
“There’s so many people that wouldn’t be doing anything. They have an indoor place that they can come no matter what the weather is,” she said.