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Phase II construction under way at Northern Blair Recreation Center

Those traveling along old Route 220 may have noticed there are some definite changes in store at the Northern Blair Recreation Center in Antis Township.
The Rec Center opened at the beginning of 2005 but plans always called for the project to be completed in phases.
The first phase was finished in 2004 and doors officially opened in January of last year. The current facility offers cardiovascular and strength training equipment such as treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, free weights and more.
Personal training services and massage therapy are also offered at this time.
With phase two construction continuing, the center will soon include a new gymnasium featuring a full indoor basketball court. Two fitness rooms will also be added.
Outside, workers just seeded the areas that will serve as soccer and baseball fields.
As of right now, there is no definite date for the project’s completion, but Northern Blair employees anticipate things wrapping up in October.
Once the project is completed, the center will be able to provide many more options for area residents. With two new fitness rooms, members can enjoy various fitness classes. Employees predict the group classes may include aerobics, yoga, kick boxing and martial arts.
There has also been talk of basketball leagues starting up once the gymnasium portion is completed.
Anyone interested is invited to stop by the Rec Center to check out the facility. Everyone is entitled to a free visit and workout. There is no commitment to stop by and try out the facility, so why not drop in and see what the Northern Blair County Rec Center is all about.
Those who like what they see can then ask about becoming a member.
The Rec Center is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Currently the center is operating under summer hours through August and is open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed Sunday.
The Daily Herald previously reported that plans for a center in northern Blair County started as informal meetings in the basement of a home years ago.
These informal “basement” meetings soon turned into a small working committee dedicated to establishing a new recreation facility in the area. With the help of state Senator Robert Jubelirer and Representative Larry Sather, more than $500,000 in state grant money became available and the project got under way.
In the spring of 2001, the NBCRC received a $500,000 grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.
In addition, the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD) agreed to sell a 15-acre parcel adjacent to the Little Juniata River to NBCRC.
Later, Antis Township donated even more land to the project, giving it a total area of about 50 acres. It is located along Old Route 220 just beyond DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.
The original plans called for the recreation center to include a large weight room, a basketball court, a kitchen, a multi-purpose room, a game room, plenty of office space, two soccer fields, a youth center, a basketball court, a baseball field, pavilions, plenty of bleacher space and close to 200 parking spaces. There was also talk of a walking track to be constructed.
While the facility currently boasts many of these features, with more on the way, there is always the possibility the future may bring even more changes.