There were two new faces at Monday’s Great Bend Recreation Commission board meeting. Sandy Smith joined the board of directors, filling the position previously held by Dr. Mary Misegadis, whose term of office expired Dec. 31, 2014.
The GBRC staff also has a new employee; Patrick Piper has been hired as the athletic recreation supervisor, a new full-time position created to assist Sports Director Chris Umphres. Piper has been on the job since the end of December.
GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said the position was added because of the number of hours it takes to run the sports programs.
Umphres made his regular report to the board, noting youth and adult basketball are wrapping up, as well as adult volleyball. Enrollment for youth and adult indoor soccer started Monday. “Soccer’s one of our biggest sports,” he said.
The sports staff may be even more busy this summer, because Henderson said there are discussions about forming a traveling baseball and softball league with other cities, such as Hutchinson, Pratt, Hays and Larned.
“There’s been quite a bit of discussion,” Henderson said, but added, “It is still in the formulation stages.” If GBRC decides to expand its sports philosophy, it will be in addition to the existing leagues that play all of their games in town.
“This is being developed across the state in multiple communities,” Henderson said. If a regional league is formed, it will not detract from the current sports programs, she said.
Umphres said games would be played on Tuesdays through Thursdays and teams would be for age 10 years and under, 12 and under, and 14 and under.
The GBRC board voted to keep the same officers in 2015, with Dr. Marc Huslig as chairman.
Program Coordinator Megan Hammake reported on programs for senior citizens and special populations. For seniors, exercise classes will continue this month, along with a program on freezer ready meals from Donna Krug, and a repeat of the True Freedom Home Care Service information program.
For special needs clients, December featured bowling, ceramics and making a wood-block calendar, easy cooking class and the annual Christmas dance. Things wind down in January, but special needs will continue to offer Tuesday bowling.
Leisure Program Coordinator Garet Fitzpatrick reported that there will be a Middle School Dance this Friday, and 16 couples have signed up for two-step dance classes. The Imagination Playground is open as a free drop-in activity in the gym at the GBRC Activity Center from 9:30-11 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Beginning in February, it will also be available from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the same dates.
Henderson reported that for the month of December, GBRC had 3,968 people enrolled in programs. There were 10,048 participations, of which 2,296 were spectators, and the Rec offered 1,039.5 hours of supervised activities