Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Community minded

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Last week was a big week for Eureka Springs Community Center. The grand opening for the fitness center was held on Monday, bringing a large number of locals together to view the ribbon cutting and a pickleball demonstration if they so pleased.

This has been a long time coming for the Eureka Springs Community Center board of directors. When I first started covering the board’s efforts to raise money for the project in 2016, the community center was only a goal. The board didn’t own any property and needed thousands of dollars just to acquire the old high school building from the Eureka Springs School Board. One year of fundraising later, the board took ownership of that property. Two years after that, the community center is offering a range of services to locals.

The community center truly has something for everyone: exercise classes, educational classes, a greenhouse program, open gym time, the notorious pickleball and, of course, the fitness center. With the new fitness center comes new hours. The community center is now open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

For all those reasons, Gideon and I purchased a family membership at the community center last Tuesday. We have both been hankering for a reliable, affordable gym since moving to Eureka Springs five years ago, so the fitness center is certainly the main reason we signed up. But there’s so much more to do there –– more than we ever expected.

Our first day there, we watched a large group of people playing pickleball. I can understand why the game is so popular. It’s a combination of tennis and badminton, two of my favorite sports. Gideon and I would have joined a match, but I’m still building strength in my formerly broken ankle. Rest assured, the moment I am ready to run, I will be playing pickleball.

I returned on Saturday morning to see a bunch of people practicing juggling in the gym. It turns out the community center was hosting a juggling festival, something I probably should have known about given my job at the paper. People of all ages split off into groups and juggled. They were still going at it when I finished my workout an hour later.

Speaking of my workout, I have got to praise the new fitness center. It features cardio machines like treadmills, ellipticals and stair steppers. I prefer a cardio-heavy workout, so this is perfect for me. Gideon tends to focus on exercise machines, and he has many options in the fitness center. We are both ecstatic to have the opportunity to work out in a gym so close to our home, and for such a great price, too!

If you haven’t stopped by Eureka Springs Community Center lately, I encourage you to do so. It’s a wonderful facility with strong leadership behind it. When you open the doors to the community center, you open yourself to our community.

I sure am glad to have opened that door, and I hope to see you there!

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com