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Salvador Perez Recreation Center closed until December for overhaul

January 24, 2019

The city-owned Salvador Perez Recreation Center will be closed until December as it undergoes a major overhaul.

The decision to close the cramped, but popular, 64-year-old recreation center on Alta Vista Street for most of the year comes after the city closed the building a couple of weeks ago for a “deep, facility-wide cleaning” that turned up the presence of mold. After mold was detected, city officials said, they kept the facility closed to protect the health of the public and employees.

“The city had hoped to re-open the center after the deep cleaning, keep it open for the month of February, and then close it again for a major $2.5 million overhaul beginning in March,” the city said in a news release issued Wednesday.

“After reviewing the costs and timelines associated with the cleaning and overhaul projects and the repeated opening and closing of the center, the more efficient use of taxpayer dollars is to keep it shut until the full overhaul has been completed,” the release said.

The yearlong construction project includes improvements to the natatorium and pool, the ventilation and air circulation systems, the so-called building envelope, the locker room and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.

The city called the recreation center one of Santa Fe’s “oldest and most iconic facilities.”

“Lately its age has been starting to show, and it’s not just a few spots of mold,” the city said in the news release.

A city councilor whose district includes the recreation center said the closure will benefit the public over the long haul.

“Salvador Perez is an important facility in its surrounding neighborhood and for our broader community,” City Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth said in a statement. “I’m sorry to see to see it close, but addressing the deferred maintenance in a cost-effective manner is important to the facility’s long-term viability.”

The city said the facility will be “better than ever, more efficient to run [and] more sustainable” when it reopens.

“In the meantime, Salvador Perez members may utilize Fort Marcy Recreation Complex or Genoveva Chavez Community Center at no additional cost,” the city said, adding that the public will be updated as the construction project moves forward.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.