The $6.2 million project restored the facility originally built in 1957, said Cheryl Burnette, Decatur Active Living assistant director.
“Everything has pretty much been upgraded [and] modernized,” she said.
One of the major changes to the center is the gymnasium, which has been entirely renovated with a new floor, an elevated walking track and new bleachers, Burnette said.
A portion of the old bleachers was repurposed and used as part of the walls and ceilings in the front lobby, and material from the old floor was recycled and made into tables.
Other changes on the main floor include an open lobby area, upgraded meeting rooms, a new multi-use studio and a revamped kitchen.
“It’s such a difference, the before and after,” Burnette said of the kitchen renovation. “It’s a teaching kitchen, so it’s large. We can have cooking classes in there [and] cooking demonstrations.”
Downstairs, the locker rooms have been redone. Another new feature to the building is a third upper level, which serves as an administrative suite, putting the staff of Active Living and the children and youth services department together under one roof.
“Many years ago, children and youth services was part of Active Living and then it grew and it split off,” she said. “We’re still separate departments but … we’re closer together and doing more planning together.”
The overall renovation project increased the space at the center from about 26,000 square feet to 34,400 square feet. The project also added a covered area outdoors to accommodate more bicycle parking — a plus for transit riders using the nearby Decatur MARTA station, Burnette said.
As staff and the public get adjusted to the new space, the activities offered at the center will remain the same, but eventually more classes and programs will be added.
The facility will be available for the public to rent for private functions starting in March.
If you go:
What: Decatur Recreation Center ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours
Where: 231 Sycamore St., Decatur
When: Feb. 5 at 8:30 a.m.
Contact: (404) 377-0494