Branchwood had its soft reopening last Friday, Sept. 21, after being closed for most of the summer for renovation and expansion.
The facility will have a grand reopening Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which will include demonstrations of available activities, including the fitness equipment, pickleball and disc golf.
Recreation director Joan Glubczynski said the remodel includes a 2,100-square-foot extension for an exercise room that overlooks a portion of the Branchwood nature trail.
There was a line out the door on the clubhouse’s first day, she said.
“Everybody’s really excited,” Glubczynski said.
She said she was particularly proud that the POA was able to make room in the remodel’s budget for new hardwood flooring on the racquetball and pickleball courts.
Another substantial improvement is in the Branchwood trail, she said, which now has a stretch of concrete linking it to the parking lot, near the facility’s recently-updated playground equipment.
In addition to new space and equipment, Branchwood has a new manager who Glubcynski said she was glad to be able to promote.
Jessica Ansom, the facility’s new manager, said that, while the facility is open, there are still some kinks to be worked out.
The fitness center has all new equipment, she said,
including various machines and free weights — and staff will be on hand to help members learn how to use the new gear.
The playground equipment is brand new as well, she said, and the kids who have stopped by seem to have a blast.
With all this new stuff, she said, she hopes more people come to Branchwood.
“We want a lot of people who live in Bella Vista and don’t use the amenities to come out and try it,” Ansom said.
Among those who came to look at the remodel was Gail Osbourn, who said she loved the new aesthetic at the clubhouse. It fits in with other recent remodels, like Lakepoint, she said.
“It’s very tasteful,” Osbourn said.
She’s most likely to use the pool, she said, though she’s curious about disc golf.
Another attendee, Gerry Templin, who was strength training with the all-new machines in the new exercise facility.
This is a significant improvement, he said, though there’s a learning curve with the new gear.
“It’s all new equipment; I like it,” he said.
The locker rooms are a lot nicer, as well as the lobby and pool room, he said.
“I think they’re doing an excellent job,” Templin said.
Branchwood Recreation Center, which was closed for part of this summer for remodeling, reopened last Friday, Sept. 21.
Visitors try out new exercise equipment at Branchwood Recreation Center’s new exercise room with some help and explanation from Branchwood staff.