Bend Park and Recreation District announced its newly remodeled Larkspur Community Center: Home of the Bend Senior Center will open its doors Monday, April 5.
The district said there will be a range of activities across all groups, including active older adults who have a variety of interests and desires for fitness, recreation and social activities.
“Larkspur Community Center, Home of the Bend Senior Center, is a decade in the making from concept to construction to respond to community growth, particularly among the rapidly growing older adult population,” said Nathan Hovekamp, chair of the BPRD Board of Directors. “This day has been a long time coming, and the facility will serve the community in important ways.”
The new community center will include an indoor 5,000 square-foot warm-water pool; it features a current channel, bubble benches, soft walk bottom and adjacent hot tub.
The current channel doubles as a great water exercise feature for walking and running and a fun activity during recreation times. The pool’s depth ranges from two-foot-six-inch to over six-feet to support a wide range of users and activities. A platform lift, pool lift and multiple stairs ensure easy water entry and exit.
Aquatics programs will emphasize water fitness, therapeutic aquatic exercise, swim lessons for youth and adults, recreation swimming and workout on your own opportunities – with the water set at a warm 87- to 89-degree temperature.
Initially, Larkspur Center will begin by offering a variety of fitness classes and workout on one’s own opportunities with limited capacities and plentiful space for patrons to become familiar with the equipment and facility. Two dedicated fitness classrooms, with lots of natural light, are complete with mirrors, bars, fitness equipment, audio systems and a maple sprung floor to reduce impact while exercising.
Upstairs, there is an 8,000-square-foot fitness center with a walk/jog track, state-of-the-art equipment and views of the Cascades and indoor pool. With 14 laps to a mile, the indoor track offers a four-season fitness option and features alcoves for functional workouts and small group training. Fitness equipment features a user-integrated app to personalize, monitor and guide fitness activity.
For most activities, reservations are strongly recommended. With advanced reservations, the facility can remain within the capacity limitations required by Oregon Health Authority and maintain proper distancing for patrons and staff. Patrons can register up to seven days in advance. Reservations remain open until 15 minutes prior to an activity for available openings, and drop-in use is dependent on space availability by checking with the welcome desk staff. Upon opening, BPRD will offer a Frequent User pass and a single-visit fee for flexible options.
“We remain flexible and responsible with regard to the ever-changing public health situation,” said Sue Glenn, recreation services manager. “We look forward to maintaining capacities through our reservations system, as well as, integrating drop in opportunities in our spacious fitness center and walk jog track along with work out on your own and fitness classes as space allows.”
Bend Senior Center programs
The Oregon Health Authority guidance continues to require that senior centers remain closed. The Bend Senior Center plans to return to the comprehensive offerings prior to the pandemic, including hosting AARP, Medicare and social security info sessions, weekly lunches and social dances, the Health and Wellness Fair, Lunch and Learns, and other services that are relied upon. Social activities such as cards and games, knitting, crafts, movies and much more will also return when state guidance allows.
“We eagerly await a time when it’s safe to reopen Bend Senior Center and offer in-person social activities for our older adult patrons,” said Don Horton, executive director. “We know the importance of the social activities and want to provide all of these services as soon as possible.”
Temporary changes at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center
When Larkspur Center opens, lap swim and other water fitness activities in the 50M pool will continue at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center. The indoor fitness activities, including group exercise classes, fitness center and cycle studio activities will temporarily transition to Larkspur Community Center. Juniper Swim & Fitness Center is expected to reopen fully by mid-June, following an indoor pool renovation project, to offer even more choices for patrons between the two facilities.
Access and parking
A new driveway from 15th Street as well as the entrance from Reed Market Road provide multiple entrances and improved circulation through the parking areas. The building has three entrances, including east and west entries into the new building as well as the covered drop-off and pick-up access to the Bend Senior Center. Upon opening, the three entrances will be marked with color designation for ease of access to the registration activity or class. Details will be included with registration.
The facility offers 241 parking spaces to meet the needs of patrons and park users. There is also close proximity to a public transportation stop, bike parking, and access to the Larkspur Trail.
Initial social activity limitations are necessary to comply with state-mandated health guidance, but in the months ahead a comprehensive offering will meet the full goals for the facility.
For more information or to sign up for an interest list for a tour, visit the Larkspur Community Center webpage.