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GBRC Activity Center open house set
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Staff will occupy the new GBRC Activity Center at 2715 18th St. before the month is over, and an open house is set for Oct. 8, members of the Great Bend Recreation Commission Board said Monday.

Meanwhile, volunteers are needed this week to help unload and place 12,000 square feet of sod on the east side of the Activity Center. Volunteers should be there at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

The facility will be the site of two events on Oct. 8, said GBRC Board President Leonard Kaiser. The open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., and a middle school dance, sponsored by GBRC and Juvenile Services of the 20th Judicial District, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.

Volunteers will be needed for the dance, too, said GBRC Program Director Linda Marqueling. For more information about helping with either activity, call the Carl Soden Recreation Center, 793-3755.

During Monday’s meeting, board members worked on some of the logistics of the open house, which will include a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, facility tours by board members, and refreshments. Board member Diana Dawson said she anticipates a crowd will turn out to see the new facility, which is built on the site of the former Morrison Elementary School. New construction incorporates the school’s gym and its restrooms.

"We should be ready to talk about where we’ve been, where we’re going and what we’d like to do," Dawson said.

Executive Director Diann Henderson did not attend Monday’s GBRC Board meeting due to illness, but left a report on the latest progress on the new facility. The main sprinkler system has been installed and some landscaping work is going on. Inside the building, computer and phone systems should be operational within a week. Staff will begin occupancy next Monday, and operational training starts Sept. 27. Fall programs start Oct. 4.

According to Henderson’s monthly activity report, GBRC had 1,880 people enrolled in its programs for the month of August, which included 652 hours of supervised activities. Total number of participants was 6,985, including 2,755 spectators.