Washington City Community Center celebrates six years of service

WASHINGTON CITY – The Washington City Community Center celebrated its sixth anniversary in grand style Monday evening with bounce houses, hot dogs, cupcakes, games, crafts, Karate demos, swimming and discounted memberships being offered to attendees.

L-R, Naomi Lin, Tayvia Ahquin, Emilee Taylor, members of the Washington City Royalty hand out free cupcakes at the sixth anniversary of the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah April 28, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
L-R, Naomi Lin, Tayvia Ahquin, Emilee Taylor, members of the Washington City Royalty hand out free cupcakes at the sixth anniversary of the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah April 28, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The anniversary party, which was held in conjunction with Washington City’s Cotton Days, offered community members the opportunity to view the facility and see all the classes and amenities the center has to offer.

“The anniversary party is an opportunity for us to showcase some of the wonderful programs we offer here,” said Kole Staheli, recreation, fitness and program manager.

The center houses programs such as; Karate, gymnastics, performance arts classes, spinning, personal training, swimming, hunter safety courses and much more.

On top of their anniversary the community center also celebrated the impressive honor of being named best public fitness and recreation facility in the Best of State competition for the fourth year in a row.

In order to compete, the community center had to submit a lengthy application that covered everything from financial records and contributions to available activities and innovations, Wendi Bulkley, director of the community center said.

Innovations like “going green,” in which the center has recycled over 80,000 plastic water bottles and changed all their lights and heating to be energy efficient which has saved the community center about $15,000 in utility bills, said Bulkley.

Also included in the criteria are questions about the center’s history, creative endeavors, expansion, community partnerships, utilization of the building and how the center improves the quality of life in Utah.

Melissa and Andy Malcom of Malcom Martial Arts give a Karate demonstration at the sixth anniversary of the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah, April 28, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina
Melissa and Andy Malcom of Malcom Martial Arts give a Karate demonstration at the sixth anniversary of the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah, April 28, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Members of the community center will attend a gala in June where they will receive their award and hope to be additionally rewarded with the top prize in the overarching sports and recreation category, said Bulkley.

The community center – which first opened doors in May of 2008 – was built out of a necessity to have a facility where Washington City could run their sports programs. Now in its sixth year it has 5,300 members and has between 12,000 and 15,000 visitors a week. And it continues to grow.

“We have seen almost one million people pass through here,” Bulkley said.

Two of those people, Jami Christiansen and Molly Pattison – both new to the recreation center – said they were signing up in order to get their family active and to do it in a friendly environment that was both close to where they lived and affordable.

Families play games at the sixth anniversary celebration of the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah, April 28, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Families play games at the sixth anniversary celebration of the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah, April 28, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Looking forward, the center hopes to continue its growth and expand its programs but mostly it hopes to be a place where community members want to be for a long time to come.

“We want to be a service and a resource to the community, a place where they feel welcome and comfortable,” Staheli said, “a place where they will want to return often.”

“I think the main thing that we love about this place,” said Bulkley, “is that we can raise future generations of kids here.”

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 Resources

  • More information about the Washington City Community Center can be found here
  • For more information on the Best of State awards visit their website

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