Recreational and community centers can enhance the lives of residents and the vitality of the whole neighborhood. Such facilities can promote culture and enjoyment and provide people with a space to move around, interact with peers, and share knowledge and ideas. Many people in the United States recognize the benefits of community recreational centers, urging their community spaces to offer healthy living classes, nature-based activities, arts and crafts, fitness programs, older adult programs, inclusive facilities, and more.
Starting up a community center is an excellent way to invest in a neighborhood’s wellness and culture. If you decide to open a community center, don’t be too swayed by the idea that building a brand new center from the ground up is the only way to have a state-of-the-art design, facilities, or amenities. Consider converting an old facility, business building, or gym that’s no longer in use into a new center instead of turning to new construction. Listed below are ways you can update an old community center and the equipment you’ll need to do so.
Anchoring and Waterproofing Equipment
Converting an already-standing building into a new community center is usually a more budget-friendly option compared to constructing a new facility from scratch. When going this route, be mindful that the practicality of updating an old community center largely depends on the building’s condition. For this reason, pay attention to the state of the center’s heating and air conditioning systems, insulation, wiring, other utilities, and foundation, as they can give you an idea of how much remodeling and updating a building needs and the potential renovation costs.
An aging or vacant building will likely incur wear and tear, as well as structural damage in need of foundation repairs. Cracks across walls, water damage, and mold can be signs of foundation problems. Taking care of structural issues is a tall order that requires professional help. It’ll be beneficial to call on expert contractors with extensive experience identifying and repairing foundation damage. The best professionals can differentiate between a shifting and sinking foundation and provide appropriate solutions to protect your building’s integrity, such as wall anchoring, waterproofing, and more. For sinking foundations, foundation repair contractors may use helical piers and hydraulic piers to raise, restore, and support the foundation. However, professionals may use wall anchors to repair and improve shifting foundations. A foundation repair company with over a decade of experience and Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation can ultimately be an asset to your community center restoration project; it will have the equipment needed to repair various foundation problems.
New Roofing Materials and Equipment
A roofline that sags on one end or in the middle can indicate foundational issues regarding the structural integrity of the building you’re fixing up, consider having a new roof installed in addition to having foundation repair services completed. When equipping an outdated center with a new roof system, consider alternatives to the traditional roof—like an eco-green roof system. Eco-green roof systems take the next step in going green and use eco-friendly roofing materials. These systems consist of natural vegetation, with popular choices including, but not limited to, low-growing shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, and succulents.
These fresh living roofs can be environmentally and financially beneficial. One of the most notable advantages of green roofs is improved air quality. Vegetation can help neutralize contaminants and absorb carbon dioxide while filling the air with fresh oxygen. The health benefits associated with better air quality will empower residents using your community center to enjoy cleaner air, breathe better, have a decreased risk of heart disease, cardiovascular, and respiratory issues, and be more productive.
Equipment for Activities and the Machines to Bring Them Inside
Once you’ve transformed an old community center through repairs, new roofing, updated utilities, and fresh coats of paint, you have to equip it with the apparatuses that will make it functional and entertaining. Install new cardio equipment, exercise machines, swimming pools, basketball hoops, volleyball nets, pool tables, ping pong tables, and more that allow you to offer fitness and health programs for the community. Additionally, you’ll need easels, kilns, and painting or sculpting stations if the community center will provide art classes and hands-on activities. Lastly, equip the facilities with concessions areas consisting of vending machines and coolers, grills, microwave ovens, and food storage for full-service stands.
Your best bet is to use industrial machines like forklifts to load more prominent pieces of equipment into the community center. For safety purposes, only trained and certified personnel over 18 years old who meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations should handle forklift operations. Additionally, it’s conducive to forklift operators safety if the forklifts you use can pass a fork inspection and are in good, strong condition. Consider having professionals routinely complete a lift truck fork replacement, as the metal forks on your trucks may incur wear and tear that could prevent them from passing inspection. Using safe machinery to transport and load your equipment into your community center brings you another step closer to opening the facilities up to the public for them to enjoy.