Morton Grove park district adding workout space
Yoga instructor Sophia Hui leads a class at the Morton Grove Park District's Prairie View Community Center in Morton Grove. | James C. Svehla~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:10PM
Fans of high-intensity training will have their own space to work out at the Prairie View Community Center beginning Feb. 16.
This week, the Morton Grove Park District is converting one of two remaining racquetball courts into the what they’re calling the High-Intensity Training, or H.I.T., Zone, an area adjacent to Club Fitness that will be dedicated to the current trend in fitness.
The fundamental principles of High Intensity Training are that exercise should be brief, infrequent and intense. Exercises are performed with fewer but more intense repetitions.
Kelly Smith, the park district’s facility and recreation manager, said that currently people using the fitness club for high-intensity training are pretty much left to find some space between other activities and equipment.
The new 800-square-foot area, set to open Saturday, will have a rubberized floor and a small amount of equipment with open space that will allow users to work out without having to hunt for space.
Equipment will include basic items such as weights and dumbbells, Smith said.
“This is an extra benefit for our members,” Smith said. “It’s kind of huge right now.”
Smith compared high-intensity training to the popular commercial program, P90x.
The park district has scheduled a grand opening Saturday for the new area at the center, 6834 Dempster St., beginning at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting. That day, Club Fitness will be free to the public until 6 p.m. so that visitors can check out the new area.
In addition, the park district will be offering giveaways, special promotions and raffle drawings throughout the day.
At one time, the Prairie View Community Center had 10 racquetball courts, Smith noted. Over the years, as the popularity of the sport has declined, the park district has converted eight of them for other uses.
With the renovation of one of the remaining courts for the H.I.T. Zone, the one remaining court will still be available for racquetball.
“It’s an aging population that’s using it,” Smith said. “In its heyday we had 10 courts and several groups playing several times a week.”
Smith said that was the only way the park district could provide space for the new workout program.
“Our floor plan is really pretty tight,” she said. “We try to pack in as much as we can in the space we have.”
“This will be an added benefit for our members,” Smith said.
The conversion, being done this week, will include installation of a rubberized floor over the wooden racquetball court floor.
Smith said the space will be flexible, so that it can be used for something else if high-intensity training looses its popularity.
“We’ve designed it as a flexible space,” she said. “A year from now, if the trend has changed, we can reuse the space.”