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Bay Oaks set to reopen after floor install

May 16, 2018
By Chuck Ballaro (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

After being closed for close to a month due to a floor installation, the Bay Oaks Recreation Center will be ready to reopen, and it's looking for your help to make it even better.

There will be a grand reopening celebration and public engagement session on Thursday, May 24 at 6 p.m. after a soft opening on Friday.

The facility had a new floor installed at a cost of around $180,000 to replace the old one that had been in use for more than 25 years and had fallen into disrepair, said Sean De Palma, recreation director, and was waiting on the manufacturer requirements to be completed.

It has also refurbished some exercise equipment and bought brand new cardio equipment for the fitness center. Now, it wants to get to yet another level, with the community's help.

"We want to introduce the new floor and equipment to the community. At the same time, we will hold a meeting to get some input for the strategic plan we're going through a process on," De Palma said. "We will have a survey and a facilitator to get insight into what the residents want from us."

"I am absolutely excited. Sean has done a great job of getting new equipment and a new floor," said Rae Sprole, vice chair of the Bay Oaks advisory board. "It is also more handicap accessible in all the rooms, so I think it will be a huge improvement."

The new floors are a continuation of the work being done at Bay Oaks. Last year the facility got a new air conditioning unit, LED lighting, a resurface of the tennis courts and a new geo-thermal heating system for the pool.

As for the floors, there were plans to replace it a few years ago, as it had outlived its usefulness and was becoming a liability for them.

Sprole said De Palma has gotten a schedule and future budget together to replace certain items in a timely manner and budgeting for them to prevent huge expense fixes.

"We've been involved in a lot of capital improvements. We've seen an uptick from last year as a result," De Palma said. "Participation numbers were up last summer, so we're hoping we see increased participation with a more inviting and functional facility."

Bay Oaks is at 2731 Oak St. For more information, call 765-4222 or e-mail De Palma at Sean@FMBGOV.com.

 
 

 

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