SunUte undergoes renovations

SunUte Community Center
SunUte Community Center is expected to re-open May 11 after the facilities’ resurfacing project.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

A newly renovated gymnasium floor will soon grace the SunUte Community Center, allowing facility members to continue their routines in a much safer environment. Soon, shooting hoops and scoring kickball goals will have reduced accidents following a new finish to the gymnasium’s surface. Additionally, the community center’s group exercise room will also be getting an update.

According to SunUte Assistant Facility Operations Manager, Dwane Reed, renovation plans for the gymnasium started back in October 2013. Due to the spaces’ high volume use by a variety of programming through the winter, the actual plan to resurface started in April 2014. The April project was put on hold after discovering the existing floor finish would not adhere properly to the new floor finish.

“When we started planning the project, the floor had no traction,” Reed said. “People were slipping and falling. In order to maintain the wood floors, there has to be a finish on it and should be able to give the athletes traction. It lost that ability, so in order to maintain the floors you have to put a finish on it ever so often.”

The facility was opened in 2001 and has since stayed up to date with renovations, accommodating members with a nicer building yearlong.

“There’s no doubt the floor will look good,” Kristi Garnanez said, community center director. “We’re adding new lines to what we currently have. We’re going to add a new three-point line to the collegiate size court and two volleyball midlines on the high school regulation sized courts.”

SunUte staff wants members to be aware that the entire facility will be closed from May 1 through May 11 for full restoration. The resurfacing project will emit fumes throughout the facility, possibly becoming unbearable for members. However, the use of advanced equipment has allowed the renovation to move quicker than expected.

“We’ll re-open seven to eight days earlier than anticipated,” said Garnanez. “The timeframe that was given to us was initially based off of equipment [the workers] are using. They came down and brought bigger [machinery] and this has sped up the process.”

Members who take part in group exercise classes that involve the exercise room can rest assure as the group classes will be relocated. During resurfacing, members can meet with Sage Frane, group exercise coordinator, and other instructors at the SunUte Park behind the facility Monday through Friday.

Additionally, the Boys & Girls Club has been relocated to Ignacio High School, and Active Kid Care will be held at the SunUte playground at no charge for the morning and evening classes only.

SunUte will be providing its members with an extension on their membership for the days it’s closed. Facility members who have concerns with affected closure dates can call the community center at 970-563-0214.

“The ultimate goal is to have a nice facility for our tribal members and our community so they can be proud with what they have,” said Dwane Reed. “Sometimes it’s unfortunate, but you have to close your doors to work on the things that keep the facility as nice as it is.”

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