For a mother who came to check out the newly renovated Greenwood Community Center, the new focus on children’s activities might be enough to convince her to purchase a membership.

Greenwood resident Kathryn Wood watched her two kids, ages 3 and 6, climbing on a play set in the new Kid City section of the community center. While Greenwood has many outdoor amenities and parks, having somewhere to take her kids when it is wet or cold outside was really needed, she said.

Wood, who isn’t currently a member of the community center, joined others who came to check out the community center that reopened after nine months of renovations.

City officials touted Kid City, a portion of the community center renovated into a play area for kids of all ages, as a key part of the $2.3 million project that began in April.

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“We want to make Greenwood an active living and healthy community,” Mayor Mark Myers said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning.

Greenwood City Council President Mike Campbell said he is looking forward to bringing his young grandchildren to the community center.

The Kid City section includes play areas, such as a Luckey Climber, pretend kitchen and store, play sets and a teen section.

Opportunities for physical activity are crucial for kids, Greenwood Parks and Recreation Board President Mike Sawa said.

“You need to get them using more than just two thumbs,” he said.

While the nine months of renovations didn’t expand the community center, the building certainly felt larger to one member.

Trisha Phillips, who had used the community center for physical fitness and occasional classes, said one of her first observations is that the facility feels bigger, even though she knows it remained the same size.

“It’s amazing,” she said.

Phillips also said she appreciates that the equipment room is on the first floor and is more accessible.

When the equipment and exercise area was previously located on the second floor, walking or running on a treadmill meant staring straight ahead at a wall. The renovated first-floor exercise area is lined with windows, bringing sunlight into the room and giving everyone inside a clear look outdoors.

For one Greenwood resident working out on the first day the community center was open to the public, the changes were for the better.

Bob Golinksi had only been a member for a year prior to the community center closing for renovations in April. He was disappointed it had to close, but said the wait was absolutely worthwhile.

“I like it a lot with all of the windows,” he said.

Golinksi now plans to get back into his routine of coming to the community center about four times a week to exercise.

The community center renovations fit into the city’s long-term plans for growth, officials said.

Having up-to-date facilities is an important part of Greenwood’s plan to grow and attract more new businesses, Campbell said.

Business want to know that they are moving to a community with amenities that will help attract future employees, Myers said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.