The walking track, two gymnasiums, a pool and exercise area are expected to draw residents to the proposed $9 million Lake Wilmore Community Center.
The master plan for the center, to be near Ogletree Elementary School, on Grove Hill Road, was released last week and is in the works to be completed for 2021, according to Becky Richardson, Auburn Parks and Recreation director.
The Lake Wilmore center will have much lower dues than many of the fitness centers in the area. In fact, there will be a small, one-time fee for an access card — unless the user loses said card and needs to buy another one.
“All of our fitness centers the public can use if they pay a $25 fee to get an access card,” Richardson said.
The center also will include two classrooms that can be divided or made into one larger classroom for use in meetings and other events, she said.
It will also jump on the bandwagon of the new popular sport — pickleball.
Right now the Lake Wilmore Community Center is in its infancy stage.
The planning is underway, and construction bids will be sought in the summer of 2020, she said.
The project will allow Auburn Parks and Recreation to take on more projects and programming, Richardson added, such as basketball programs.
“Everything from swimming opportunities, basketball courts, walking tracks, fitness opportunities for all ages, so I would encourage everyone to take a look at it,” said Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey of Ward 7. “Because obviously the convenience for Ward 7 specifically, but this will be a new facility for all ages to participate in and enjoy.”
Hovey grew up in Auburn and has watched the city change.
“I think we are fortunate to live in a city, or in a community, with leadership that’s committed to reinvesting into our, not just our parks and rec, but our cultural aspects of life here,” Hovey said.
This center is the first of its kind in Ward 7 open to the public, he said.
“Our Parks and Recreation advisory board long term, the plan is to eventually have community centers kind of scattered out through the city, so as Auburn grows, they’ll be convenient to the various parts of town,” Richardson said. “So this is kind of a first phase of that.”