By Rebecca Gaunt
Pickleball proved to be the big draw for adults at the new Kennesaw recreation center open house Saturday, as kids gravitated to the free mini basketballs and volleyballs available in the lobby.
The opportunity to tour the 42,000 square foot building drew a sizable crowd to the $10.4 million facility. The highly anticipated addition to the city was paid for with funds from the Local Special Purpose Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). It is located in Adams Park at 2737 Watts Dr., next to the Ben Robertson Community Center.
It includes three multi-purpose basketball courts, a walking track, two fitness rooms, a gymnasium and offices. Programs include basketball, volleyball, pickleball and drill lessons. There is an annual $5 fee to access the facilities, although classes and sports leagues may incur separate fees.
Mychal Lewis, Sports and Recreation Coordinator, said the open house and week ahead is a smooth opening so she can find the best way to meet the needs of the public.
“We have a general pickleball and basketball program because that’s what everyone wants…but we’re even going to have an open ping pong game,” she said.
One of the requests it wants to fill is to offer pickleball in the evening since many places only offer it in the morning, to the chagrin of pickleball players who work regular hours.
The walking track was not accessible during the open house due to a delayed elevator inspection, but the Courier was allowed to take photos. The track should open as soon as that happens.
The gymnastics center has suffered a setback that is delaying the popular program’s move to its new home. This particular part was built over a spring and efforts to prevent water leaking through the ground are still ongoing. The staff hope it will be open in June at the latest.
Dipti Mody has set up an information table to spread the word about the traditional and prenatal yoga classes she teaches.
“Yoga itself is about connecting with mind, body, and spirit,” she said.
Classes will incur a cost separate from the $5 access fee. Mody will cost $10 per class, but once she is able to gauge the level of interest, she hopes to offer monthly packages.
Tai Chi and Qigong instructor Sachi Hirata was also on hand to demonstrate and provide information.
Hudson Nichols, 13, told the Courier he came for the book swap.
“My sister is starting gymnastics here, which I think is pretty cool,” he said when asked what excites him the most about the centre. He is also a fan of pickleball and basketball.
Rebecca Gaunt holds a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats and a dog. In her spare time she loves to read, City of Kennesaw staff members deemed essential will receive a one-time supplemental payment for their service during COVID-19 health ebinge Netflix and travel.