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Looking ahead to the next 100 years

A swimmer does laps in the new pool. In the foreground is the children’s area of the pool. A water fountain shaped like a baseball bat is topped with a baseball.

January 17, 2013
The Neighborhood Club is moving into its second century in high style, indeed.

This week the cornerstone of Grosse Pointe community recreation officially cut the ribbon on its state of the art facility, embracing its next century while holding true to its traditions of the past.

"We're doing everything we did before," said Executive Director Stu Alderman, "plus so much more."

Its new "official" name, The Neighborhood Club Recreation and Wellness Center, sums it up nicely, as it joins with Beaumont Hospital to expand services to the community.

Long the center of sports and fitness activities, the new Neighborhood Club features a fitness facility, an indoor warm-water swimming pool, a gymnasium, a work-out studio and new classrooms for the Neighborhood Club Preschool.

"We really feel this is a great addition to our community," Alderman said. "We're still keeping our focus on recreation programs, but now we can offer fitness and exercise programs that we simply couldn't do in our old building. We really feel we have something for all ages and interests."

Nowhere was Alderman's observation of "all ages and interests" more evident than during the community open house the Neighborhood Club held Saturday, Jan. 5. He estimates nearly 2,000 people toured the new building, and while a final count of how many actually joined that day wasn't available, Alderman admits the staff was "overwhelmed."

The warm-water swimming pool, featuring a children's area and four lanes for lap swimming created lots of buzz among visitors. A full schedule of pool activities began this week, and includes swim lessons for all ages, lap swimming and several water aerobics classes. For the hard core aqua exercisers, a boot camp will be offered, featuring high intensity cardiovascular workout. For the less ambitious, noodles and paddleboards are available for some lazy lap swimming. There are also several family swim times scheduled, as well as adult swims.

Next door to the pool area is a half court gym and across the hall is the Fitness Studio. Outfitted with indoor cycling bikes, exercise balls and kickboxing equipment, the area offers several classes in intense cardio fitness training. But if inner peace is desired, several yoga classes will be offered in the studio. For anyone confused as to where to even begin a fitness program, a complimentary fitness assessment can be scheduled. It will measure body composition, cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and flexibility. Members ready to step it up can work with a personal trainer on meeting specific goals.

Most of those goals can be achieved in the workout room, where rows of exercise equipment, including state of the art treadmills, elliptical machines, bicycles and weight machines are available. Snowbirds returning to the area from warmer winter climates will also find pickleball classes being offered, a sport similar to tennis that is growing in popularity.

But it's not all work at the new Neighborhood Club.

Rooms are available for birthday parties and other special events, and include the use of either the pool or the gym. A local pizzeria will supply pizza, while cake and ice cream can be brought in.

And even with the new location and state of the art exercise equipment, the Neighborhood Club remains true to its mission of providing recreation and team sports to the children in the community, maintaining its full schedule of youth soccer, basketball, lacrosse and fitness classes. The popular computer classes are being offered at the new location, with lessons in digital photography and Power Point presentations being offered.

Even the new puppy can be enrolled in a class at the Neighborhood Club.

Beaumont Health System will offer physical rehabilitation services in the building, as well as opening a Center for Human Development which will provide services to children and adolescents with special needs.

The Neighborhood Club is a non-profit organization, funded entirely through fees and donations, which creates just one small problem when it comes to parking at the new facility.

"We can't validate for the city parking lot," Alderman explained, "so make sure to bring money to pay for parking in the city lot or at the metered lot next door."

Program information and membership rates are available online, neighborhoodclub.org, or by calling (313) 885-4600. Alderman also encourages prospective members to drop in to see for themselves what all the new facility has to offer.

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