By JUSTIN SAUER
Monmouth County now has its first indoor recreation facility.
The Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, a 21,000-square-foot recreation center located on 2566 Guam Lane (off Hope Road) in Tinton Falls, was recently acquired by Monmouth County from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA).
“The Fort Monmouth Recreation Center is unlike any other building in the Monmouth County Park System,” explained Bob Ward, who works in the Visitor Services department for the Monmouth County Parks System and is in charge of programming for the facility. “This building was built by the Army as a recreation facility and this is exactly what we are using it for. It is exciting to be here from the beginning and the staff is excited to have a facility like this to offer programming to the residents of Monmouth County year round.”
The recreation center has been open for programming since the beginning of September. The facility offers a wide range of programming from parent/child programs to school age and senior citizen programs. This fall there will be over 150 programs offered at the facility, most of which require pre-registration. However, they do offer several drop-in programs where visitors can pay when they arrive for the program. (You can follow the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center on their Facebook page here.)
The facility is currently made up of four classrooms, a large gymnasium, a game room and a kitchen. An outdoor pool will be open in 2014. Although the county is currently leasing the building from FMERA, the hope is that the property will be turned over to the county by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
“One unique program we are offering is a program for ages 6-10 years when school is closed in November for Teacher’s Convention,” said Ward. “It is called “Kids Day Off Club” and parents can register and drop their children off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.m. They will enjoy gym games, activities, and even make their own snack. We do ask that you bring a bag lunch.”
The fee for this program is $52/child per day.
The facility also offers a Coffee Club for active adults.
“Currently we have Coffee and Mahjong running on Tuesdays and Coffee and Scrabble running on Thursdays,” said Ward. “There are art programs, music programs, yoga programs and sewing programs offered at the facility as well. This is just a small sampling of what we offer.” There are also two adult leagues that the facility is offering this fall-a dodge ball League on Sunday mornings and a floor hockey league on Tuesday nights. Registration is currently underway for both. The facility also has plans for a basketball league this winter.
“We will continue to grow our program offerings as more people become familiar with the building,” said Ward. “This building gives us the opportunity to expand our offerings to a different area of the county. It also allows us to program traditionally outdoor sports year round. We are excited to see what the future holds, since a building like this is new to everyone in the Monmouth County Park System.”