A renovated swimming pool and new workout room equipment will welcome Chautauquans back to Turner Community Center this summer, as part of an extensive makeover to Chautauqua Institution’s only year-round recreational facility.
“The surface of the pool had become stained over the years,” said Meg Pickard, manager of the fiteness center and director of the Department of Recreation. “The larger part of the project is replacing the marcite and the tile, as well as the gutters, around the edge of the pool and installing a staircase that’s actually part of the surface.”
Marcite is a type of plaster that prevents pool water from leaking, and along with the new tile, Pickard said it should give the swimming pool a much cleaner look.
“It won’t look dingy or dirty,” Pickard said. “We used to get those types of complaints.”
Swimmers can also expect improved lighting above the pool, which is now open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday, 7 to 11 a.m. and 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 7 to 11 a.m on Sunday.
With algae blooms and adverse weather conditions leading to periodic beach closures in past years, the swimming pool at the fitness center is often the most reliable option for lap swimmers or children looking to cool off during the summer. And as always, the fitness center pool will be hosting the swim portion of the Old First Night festivities, on July 29.
The fitness center also features new equipment this summer, designed to provide Chautauquans of all ages with an improved workout experience. A new floor surface has been added in the weight room, which Pickard said had been compromised from years of having different free weights dropped on it. Smaller equipment in the weight room has also been replaced.
The fitness center has already added new treadmills and upright bikes, in addition to an upper-body ergometer and power rack that Pickard said will be arriving soon.
“The upper-body ergometer will be great for the physical therapists that come in and for our older adult population, especially anyone who might be recovering from a shoulder injury,” Pickard said. “Anyone who has restrictions and can’t use their legs to get a cardio workout can use the ergometer.”
Given the building’s original role as an elementary school, various classroom spaces are available for recreation opportunities. Last year, one such classroom was turned into a year-round Pilates studio.
“It has very specialized Pilates equipment,” Pickard said. “You won’t find a lot of Pilates-specific studios in Chautauqua County except for ours.”
The fitness center’s hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Chautauqua Health and Fitness memberships can be purchased at the fitness center, with nine-week passes available for $155 and weekly passes for $35.