Troy Community Center members work out in the fitness center Jan. 21.

Troy Community Center members work out in the fitness center Jan. 21.

Photo by Jonathan Shead


Group fitness classes, family programming return to Troy Community Center

Center grapples with decreased attendance

By: Jonathan Shead | Troy Times | Published January 26, 2021

 The pool is open for reservation appointments at the Troy Community Center. A maximum of four people are allowed.

The pool is open for reservation appointments at the Troy Community Center. A maximum of four people are allowed.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

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TROY — All Recreation Director Elaine Bo and Assistant Recreation Director Brian Goul want is to fully reopen the Troy Community Center to its members.

The Community Center closed in March in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Safer at Home orders. The center reopened its fitness center and pool areas Sept. 10, 2020.

“It’s been frustrating. We’ve been closed for almost 11 months. We’re way ready to get back to normal,” Bo said. “(People) are calling. They’re asking — they want to come back — but we’ll continue to follow the guidelines and add activities as the guidelines allow.”

Goul said the time to reconvene and bring back programming is now. The Troy Community Center began offering group fitness classes again starting Jan. 25, after press time. Family-oriented, and group activities and programs will return to the Community Center in February. The maximum reservations allowed for pool access will increase from four people to eight people in February too.

Group fitness classes used to be offered as an amenity for residents with membership passes, but due to decreasing attendance marks at the center since last March, interested participants will be charged the full amount — $76 for residents and $86 for nonresidents. Members will receive $15 off per class they sign up for.

The Community Center is currently offering a discount of 25% off annual membership passes through February.

“We had about 5,000 members, and now we have about 1,500. We have a lot less people now that we did back before the pandemic,” Goul said about the Community Center’s attendance. “Since we opened in September, we were probably averaging about 50 people a day. Now, we’re up to about 250-300 a day, so it’s starting to go up.”

Goul hopes the addition of group fitness classes and other family activities will help the Community Center return to serving the number of residents it used to. He’s optimistic, but he said programs will be determined by audience interest.

The reduction of staff the Community Center has seen due to the pandemic’s effects on the economy hasn’t helped increase the center’s offerings, either. “It all depends on the demand and what we can provide for them,” Goul said.

“The fitness area, I don’t know that it will ever get back to what it was, because a lot of people will be working out from home now,” he said. “We are going to try to offer some outdoor fitness classes as well to try to get people to sign up for those if they don’t feel comfortable coming back inside. Senior (programming), I think it will eventually come back. It may not be to the amount it was though.”

Programs like the Community Center’s annual Friday bingo and the Rainbow Preschool Program had to halt due to the pandemic, and haven’t yet since returned, Bo said.

“All of our senior programming, I could go on for a half hour about what we’ve canceled for them,” she said, adding that their Meals on Wheels program is still operating. “Normally we have a lot of banquet rentals that meet too. We haven’t allowed them in the building either. Really we’re only running maybe a third of what we do for the community.”

The pair are still optimistic about the programming they’ll be able to offer this upcoming summer.

“As far as summer programs go, we hope we can still offer summer camps and things that we normally offer in the summer, but of course that’s going to totally depend on what the situation is at that time and the protocols,” Goul said.

Until then, the Troy Community Center staff will continue to clean and sanitize their equipment and facilities until they can invite more people in.

“We’re ready and we’re making changes. Anytime the guidelines change for us to open something up, we’re ready to do that,” Bo said.

A Troy Community Center Unlimited Recreation Pass for adults currently costs $198 per year for residents, with different pricing for nonresidents, different pass types and age groups.  Passes can be suspended, canceled and transferred under certain circumstances. Traditionally, the center offers fitness rooms, an indoor aquatic center, a gymnasium, locker rooms, dance and aerobic studios, and a child care center, but due to COVID-19, members should check with center staff about current offerings. For more information, visit https://rec.troymi.gov.

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