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Rec director lobbying for new center

Features Editor

Do you ever feel like creating a little "racquet" or climbing a wall?

If things go as planned for the City of Troy, residents can do both any time they want and right here at home.

The Troy City Council is researching what it would cost and what it would take to build a community recreation facility for its residents and those of surrounding areas.

The facility would include racquetball courts and a rock climbing wall and that’s just for starters, said Dan Smith, parks and recreation director.

As more and more people are becoming interested in keeping in good shape, for their health’s sake, as well as to look good, they are seeking forms of recreation that fit their physical abilities and their lifestyles.

"There has been a boom in recent years in the building of multi-purpose community centers," Smith said. "Here, in Troy, I’m sure we have enough community interest and enough support of our council to consider building a community center here. The mayor and council are researching it from all angels. I think it would be great for our community."

Smith said the multi-purpose facility would possibly include an indoor water park with pools one-to-three feet deep and a four-lane regulation pool.

"The regulation pool would meet the standards for holding swim meets and training for swim team," he said.

The facility would also include a gymnasium, gymnastic facilities, an elevated walking track and meeting rooms.

"People like to have one place to go where they can participate in a number of recreational and leisure activities," Smith said. "A community recreation facility would give them that opportunity."

Because nothing is set in stone at this time, Smith said community input into the project is encouraged.

"We want to know what the people of our community want in a facility of this kind," he said.

Beth Capazolli is one resident who is pleading her case for racquetball courts if the center becomes reality.

"The only thing that I have felt cheated on since moving to Troy from Saudi Arabia is that we don’t have racquetball courts," she said, laughing. "In Saudi Arabia we had wonderful racquetball courts and I fell in love with the sport."

Capazolli said, because it’s played inside, racquetball is a year around sport and it’s a great sport for all ages.

"Actually, it’s like tennis except you and your opponent are on the same side and you hit the ball against a wall and you don’t have to run after balls because they are in the room with you," she said. "It ‘s a fast game, but you can slow it down. I’ve seem some older people just getting their exercise by hitting the ball against the wall. It’s a lot of fun to play; it’s easy to learn to play and the courts would be very versatile. They could be used as handball courts, squash, karate, judo or line dancing."

Dr. James Kimbrough is one of the most avid senior supporters of a multi-purpose recreational facility. In fact, he just down right excited about it.

"I have worked with youth in school, church and community and I have coached," he said. "I’m 65 years of age and I still enjoy participating is sports, so I see the value of this facility for all ages, including retirees, like me. We have more time to play."

Kimbrough said his sports bag includes softball, basketball and swimming. "My wife and I enjoy walking and we walk around the circle in our neighborhood," he said. "But, we would like to get involved in a walking program and I understand, the facility will have a walking track. That will encourage more people to walk and walking is so good for your health."