The Recreation and Parks Department has new offices, but might only be there for a couple months.
The department closed its administrative offices at the Courcelle building on North Street Extension Thursday and Friday and relocated them the College of St. Joseph gymnasium. The city is renting the building and has dubbed it the Rutland Rec Community Center. Negotiations for a purchase or a long-term agreement are ongoing, but as of Monday, when the offices opened there, the city’s rental agreement expires at the end of next month.
“It takes a day to move,” Recreation Superintendent Kim Peters said. “If we have to move back, we’ll move back.”
Peters said she decided to move the offices because she was splitting her time between Courcelle and CSJ and ultimately concluded it would be more efficient to have her office at the gym building.
“Because this place has exploded so much and we have people in here every hour on the hour, I was giving tours every day,” she said. “We start open enrollment on our summer programs in two weeks. I needed to combine all our forces. We work better as a team.”
Peters said programming at Courcelle is continuing there.
“We still have Tai Chi, strength training, yoga, art programs,” she said. “We still use it for maintenance and storage.”
The CSJ gym building includes a basketball court and a fitness center with weights and cardio machines. Peters said 400 people signed up for $10 monthly memberships in January and that the center sees an average of 2,000 visitors a week.
City Treasurer Mary Markowski said last week that the gym has helped fuel a $45,000 jump in revenue for the department for the first half of the fiscal year.
“Rec has an offsetting expense, but it’s nice to see that the revenue is there,” Marksowski said. “It’s not just CSJ. It’s the pool. It’s programs.”
Peters said they hope to reach an agreement on a longer-term lease by the end of the week.
“Right now, we just want to extend with the intent to purchase,” she said.