by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Personal trainer Carol Kirgger chats with Dolores Bowman in the Garden Home Recreation Center's new fitness room. The center will be having an open house this Saturday to show off the new equipment and offerings. A new fitness room — the centerpiece of Garden Home Recreation Center’s summer makeover — is now complete.

The new space will be unveiled to the public Saturday during a grand opening event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visitors are invited to enjoy free fitness activities at the center, 7475 S.W. Oleson Road, including use of the new gym and participation in center’s “Fitness Launch.” Sample Zumba, BodyPump and WillPower and Grace sessions from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

”Our patrons will love the changes, especially the new fitness room,” said Lindsay Bjork, center supervisor. “The new equipment is great, and it’s a brighter and more spacious room with better air circulation. It’s more conducive to a great workout.”

The fitness room is nearly twice its previous size with 1,100 square feet of additional space. The room is furnished with new weight and cardio equipment, flooring and mirrors, lighting and power supply improvements as well as independent cooling and heating elements.

Those upgrades, and other Garden Home improvements, were funded by a $325,000 award from Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services as compensation for a maintenance project on the nearby Fanno Creek JONATHAN HOUSE - Weights and new fitness machines adorn the new workout room at the Garden Home Recreation Center.

Additional Garden Home improvements include:

• A new spring floor, upgraded equipment and a 10-foot rock wall in the new gymnastics room.

• A new hardwood floor and exercise equipment in the dance and exercise room.

• New storage cubbies, furniture, rugs, built-in counter/desk space and more seating in the after-school room.

“All of these improvements will provide new and better recreational opportunities for our community members,” Bjork said. “Anyone enrolling in fitness, dance, gymnastics and after-school programs will be better served by these upgrades.”

More than 7,000 Garden Home neighbors are receiving direct mail notification of the grand opening event, which will feature door prizes, a raffle and other giveaways. Staff members will host fun fitness challenges, including “longest plank hold” and “longest wall sit.” A trainer will be on hand to demonstrate proper use of new equipment and answer fitness questions.

The Garden Home Recreation Center was purchased by Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District in 1986. The site, constructed as an elementary school in 1912, is an entry point to the historic Oregon Electric Railroad section of the Fanno Creek Trail. In addition to serving the recreation needs of park district patrons, the facility houses the Garden Home Community Library and West Portland Boxing Club.

For more information about the event, or for inquiries about recreational programs and activities at Garden Home, call the center at JONATHAN HOUSE - Buzz Bowman works out on a new stairmaster at the Garden Home Recreation Center on Friday.

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