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Brunswick's new Rec Center on track for debut next week

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Brunswick's new Rec Center on track for debut next week

BRUNSWICK — Amenities at the town's new Recreation Center will open to the public for the first time next week.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Tom Farrell said he's certain the building's indoor track, in particular, will quickly become a popular feature.

The track will be open Monday to Friday, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and then again from noon to 8 p.m. Weekend hours will vary.

"With Maine's cold winters, people who get exercise by running are going to seek out the indoor track here," he said. "I anticipate this will be an attractive feature of the building people will want to use."

Farrell's staff set up office on Monday at the former U.S. Navy field house at 220 Neptune Drive, near Admiral Fitch Avenue in Brunswick Landing.

To Farrell, the new building, with its indoor track, two basketball courts, and the surrounding 16 acres of land, has the potential to become a regional hub.

"This particular facility and the surrounding site – though it hasn't yet been conveyed – provides wonderful potential for the community," he said.

The department's move from the old Recreation Center at 30 Federal St. was slightly delayed because of extended work to resurface the field house floor.

Since September, the building has been in use by the Recreation Department's preschool program, which is in classrooms at the rear of the building.

But next week, full use will begin to bloom.

That's when the Recreation Department's youth basketball programs will take daily residence, typically from the afternoon to around 8 or 9 p.m.

And adult open gym will happen from Monday to Friday, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Because of the department's newly expanded capacity, Farrell said his staff is considering new programming that could begin by the start of next year.

"Now that we have some of these facilities, we might be able to look at what we're able to do," he said. "... We will take a look at the whole portfolio of potential programs and see what might be feasible for this facility."

And for those wondering if the former Recreation Center will get one last "hoorah," Farrell said mark your calendars for Feb. 17-22, 2014.

That's when the town will host the Mid-Winter Classic, a basketball tournament for seventh- and eighth-grade boys and girls teams, from Monday to Friday.

Then on Sunday, Feb. 23, the Recreation Department will hold one, final commemorative event that will include an open house of the building.

"There are people I am sure who have been in that facility who want to see how it has changed since they used it at an earlier time," Farrell said.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.