After what seemed like one postponement after another pushing the opening date into late June 2021, Milner Recreation Center is finally open. The suspense is over.
Walk through the sliding glass doors and into an open main entrance with its redesigned lobby, neutral tone colors and slightly eye-catching flooring. Carpet borders wood flooring, two tones laid in opposing diagonal patterns. Different, but I like it.
Breathe in the new construction smell of freshly painted walls and newly carpeted floors. Bask in the glow of the overhead lights (I assume LED). It was amazingly dim previously, although I doubt anyone knew it at the time.
The Wellness Center looks comfortable and inviting. It says, “Come exercise with us.” In all honestly, it used to say, “If you are claustrophobic, we aren’t the gym for you.”
I tried to join the Wellness Center once, but the machines were way too close together. FYI: I have a difficult time with people being too close to me. The pandemic fit right into my wheelhouse. It gave me an excuse to distance even further. So, exercising in a gym where everyone was right up on everyone else is not for me.
I wonder how long it will be before this Wellness Center is just as crowded? The bigger the space, the more stuff people want to put in it. If you have a 900-square-foot home, you have 900 square feet of stuff. If you upgrade to 2,000 square feet, you will buy more stuff. It’s human nature.
The buyer’s remorse seems to be gone. Right after city officials approved spending up to $10 million on this project, I saw a sense of buyer’s remorse, a sense of regret after having made a purchase, sink into some of them. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item and this definitely fits that description. I saw no remorse during the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. Everyone beaming with pride, a childlike glee of “Look what I did?”
Past and present city officials will be credited on that huge dedication plague to be unveiled and hung. I’m not a fan of those types of plaques. When it was taxpayer money that paid for it, maybe the plaque should credit the hardworking citizens, the property owners of McMinnville and not the people who spent their money – just a thought.
Not everyone is happy about the finished product. I’m still seeing comments on Facebook from people who thought that a $10 million project should have come with an indoor pool. Because one was discussed around the same time as this project, those people were definitely disappointed.
You can love it, like it or hate it, but I believe Milner Recreation Center is a vast improvement over what used to be called McMinnville Civic Center.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.