HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. - A million dollar expansion is coming to the fitness area at Carmel's Monon Community Center to keep up with the growing demand, but new rules could make it difficult for some to use the facility.
For several years, leaders at the Center have noticed an increase in membership. At the end of January, the center boasted 14,300 members; a 15% increase in just the last year.
It was time to expand.
"Maybe knock down the wall or at least open it up so it feels a little bit less enclosed," said the center's COO Michael Klitzing as he showed us around.
While the facility's footprint won't expand, officials are looking for ways to move things around and make use of spaces currently empty. Construction should begin late this year.
However, one of the biggest changes you'll notice is in the rules. Right now anyone can use the indoor track for free, but starting next year only Carmel residents will be able to take advantage of that perk. The rest of the public will need to buy a day pass or membership.
"It’s looking like we’re not going to be able to accommodate all the people that want to use the track for free. So that’s probably just going to be limited to Carmel residents. That helps us with the capacity issues here.”
If the center can't keep up with the pace after all the changes, leaders may also look into capping membership. Klitzing said he's trying to avoid that in order to keep membership fees down.
"Our hope is never to be in a position where we have to cap it, but certainly we’ll consider that if the time comes.”
Klitzing said there are already conversations happening about building a second facility on Carmel's west side in the next five to seven years.