A $1.8 million expansion project is about to wrap up at the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center, and the public is being invited to take a look.

  • Kids' room, renovated exercise room among improvements
  • Renovation took 10 months
  • Center hosting open house Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9:00 a.m.

“Oh, I think it’s wonderful compared to the old gym,” said member and New Port Richey resident Jack Greenlee.

Greenlee worked out Tuesday afternoon in the facility’s fitness center, which was moved to the front of the building and expanded as part of the project.

A kid’s room is another one of the improvements. Parents will be able to drop their children off in an area that has a 20-foot-tall playground and other entertainment.

Staff will hand out pagers to adults who can work out for up to two hours on-site and return to pick up their kids once they’re beeped.

An exercise room toward the back of the building has also been renovated.

New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Director Elaine Smith said these are the first major improvements made to the center since it opened in May 2007.

“I believe the mayor was the one that put it that if you live in your house for ten years, you’ve probably done some type of renovation. So, it’s time we did something with this facility,” Smith said.

During the ten months it took to complete the project, the center remained open.

“It’s working out in a construction site, because the staff were confined to a little, tiny office space," Smith said. "Then, they literally ripped off the front of the building, so you’ve got the big cranes."

The center is hosting an open house on Saturday, Feb. 17 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Members of the public are welcome to take a tour and get a look at the changes.