Long-awaited East Side rec center opens today with a lazy river, gym and walking trails

Long-awaited East Side rec center opens today with a lazy river, gym and walking trails
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After months of pandemic-related delays, the highly anticipated Eastway Regional Recreation Center opens Wednesday at 11:30am, albeit with limited capacity for pool and fitness center use.

The county-run facility is at 3150 Eastway Park Drive, off Eastway Drive. It is part fitness facility, part senior services center, part event space, part educational hub.

  • Additional phases of its reopening will take place over the next few months.

Why it matters: The 95,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will be a community hub in the most diverse part of the city, and it’s years in the making.

It was supposed to open in early summer 2020, but the pandemic caused labor shortages, factory shutdowns and supply chain delays for materials like glass, cabinets and countertops, Tara Martin of the design firm Neighboring Concepts told Axios Charlotte a few months ago.

Zoom out: As development accelerates in the area and across Charlotte, retaining accessible gathering space is crucial.

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  • A few miles from the rec center, the massive old Eastland mall site is being redeveloped to make way for mixed-income housing, retail, offices, a grocery store, green space and an MLS academy headquarters.
  • Also just up the street, the Eastway Crossing shopping center has become a bustling new home for small local businesses.

What to expect: The new Eastway Recreation facility boasts an indoor running track, a 25-yard lap pool, a leisure pool with a lazy river, cardio and weight rooms, four fitness studios, a demonstration kitchen, an event hall with breakout rooms and walking trails, among other amenities.

  • Once it’s fully operational, the rec center will host festivals, job fairs, sports leagues and other community events, the county says. Plus, regular services at the center will include childcare, home-school meetups, swim lessons and wellness coaching.

For now, use of the facility is by reservation only and can be made online or by calling 980-314-ERRC (3772).

Prices: You can buy monthly, daily or drop-in passes, and they range in price from $5-$65. More info here.

My thought bubble: Eastway’s new rec center is like a fancy south Charlotte YMCA on steroids. At a time when people miss gathering so much, this facility was built for it.

  • Here’s a look around. Interior shots are courtesy of Mecklenburg County. Exterior shots are our own.

Eastway Regional Recreation Center

Eastway Regional Recreation Center (courtesy of Mecklenburg County)

Eastway Regional Recreation Center (courtesy of Mecklenburg County)

Eastway Regional Recreation Center (courtesy of Mecklenburg County)

Eastway Regional Recreation Center (courtesy of Mecklenburg County)

Eastway Regional Recreation Center

Eastway Regional Recreation Center

Eastway Regional Recreation Center

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