One of the few constants in life is change.

One change Claremore Super Recreation Center visitors have had to accustom themselves to recently has been the addition of turnstiles near the front desk.

“The new turnstiles have been installed since that last week of July, although we didn’t initialize them for about a week, to kind of give everyone time to get used to seeing them,” said Mitch Louderback, recreation center director. “They’ve been in use for a little over a week, and so far, reaction to them has been positive — people took to them much better than we expected them to, in fact.”

The addition of turnstiles to limit admittance to those with memberships and paying visitors was initially met with resistance, but was a “necessary measure” to help the recreation center “break even” from rising utility costs, Louderback said.

Additionally, the turnstiles have already curtailed what had become an increasing problem of people dropping their children off for the day at the facility.

“In the past, we’d had definite problems with people leaving their children here, to hang around the rec center all day — basically using us as an unpaid ‘baby sitter,’” Louderback said. “In many of those cases, the children haven’t always been the most well-behaved and they would tend to bother our paying members.

“Of the people we’ve had to ask to leave the rec center, almost none of them have been paying members, so the turnstiles have reduced that problem considerably,” he said. New rates were put into place at the outset of August, another measure to aid in the rec center’s maintenance.

“I really don’t mind the new rates or the turnstiles at all,” said Carrie Miller, rec center user. “I come here to use the track and, before the turnstiles, there would almost always be unsupervised children running wild around it — that’s not a problem any more, so for me, it’s worth paying a little more to have a better experience here.”

“I think the turnstiles have definitely helped filter out some of the problems we’d been having,” Louderback said. “In addition to helping defray utility costs, they’ve helped improve the atmosphere for our members — they’ve been a win/win.”

A scholarship program, based upon income and number of children in a family is currently available for families who desire to use the rec center but need financial assistance.

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