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Construction finishes on Kanab Center Building B, new gym and room spaces open

Construction on the Kanab Center’s Building B, colloquially called “the old gym” by Kanab area locals, is finishing up and the gym is preparing to open back up to the public. The old gym holds many memories for Kanab residents, and the extra gym space has been the subject of many requests from various athletic groups in the area as well.



Photos courtesy of Celeste Meyeres.


“When they first talked about the remodel, they discussed completely demolishing the building,” says Camberly Anderson, Kane County’s Events Director, under whose responsibility the operating of event-centric facilities like the Kanab Center currently falls, “but because of the memories and the history of the gym, there was a lot of pushback … and they decided to preserve as much of the old building as possible.


“The gym needed [the remodel,]” Anderson continues, “especially the floor. You could walk across the floor and see it wave and bow underneath you, nails were popping out, it desperately needed work.”


Per Anderson, the new face of the old gym is designed to improve the facility without compromising any of the sentiment or memories associated with the building. The cowboy mural on the old brickwork was scanned and transferred one-to-one to a logo printed on the center of the court, the familiar layout has been kept mostly the same and even some of the more obsolete features of the structure were maintained, such as the tunnel under the building where the football team would emerge onto the field years ago. “There’s a thousand stories tied to this gym,” says Anderson, “and through the remodel we didn’t want people to lose those memories.”



Anderson specifies that integrating the facility into the greater Kane County aesthetic is one of the themes of the recent improvements to both buildings B and C, such as introducing murals and artwork of Kane County into the various rooms in the Kanab Center and renaming the various multipurpose rooms after local trails. “We want to sort of bring the outside in,” Anderson says, “Tori [Cluett] gets the credit for the trail naming idea and being here through the headache of much of the construction of the old gym, we’re grateful for the work he put in to improve the Center.” Anderson states the goal is to have visitors come into the Kanab Center and enjoy it and its activities, while being reminded of “the real reason they’re staying around,” referring to the local environs, hiking and connecting with the outdoors.


Kane County leadership has spoken with optimism on the new facility opening up; Kane County Commissioner Celeste Meyeres said of the new building, “It really was about spending a little to get a lot … this is a multi-use community facility and it will benefit the entire county.” Commissioner Wade Heaton said in a recent commission meeting, “We really do want to make this a user-friendly experience for our community … this facility isn’t there to go on and gather dust, it’s there to be used and to benefit the people,” and Commissioner Patty Kubeja concluded, “We’re excited to see the new facility open up soon.”


The newly finished building B is somewhat of a culmination of recent efforts to make the Kanab Center site a more comprehensive location for public use. Many of the county staff members involved in the remodel of both buildings B and C (the larger structure with the ballroom) commented on how versatile the property is becoming: with a gym lined for volleyball, basketball and pickleball; the multipurpose rooms in building B including a dedicated storage and practice room for the Symphony of the Canyons; the technical accommodations in both buildings allowing for presentations and real-time remote participation; and the steadily decreasing local rates all contribute to the County’s optimism that these facilities will be worth the investments of time and money.


The lowered local rates on room and facility rental are one of the primary talking points regarding the new facility’s opening: the already existing discount on the local rate has been discounted by a further 40 percent starting with the upcoming open house in June. There are some updates to the rules of use as well, including a few priorities implicit in the use of TRT funds in the remodel; Anderson warns that some reservations may be bumped for the sake of large conventions or conferences, generally when there is time in advance to reasonably reschedule.


The gym still requires a few final touches, and county staff are working to finalize some of the new improvements to the location, such as security deposit boxes for keys allowing off hours use without staff on-site. The open house and grand opening for Building B is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, and will include a free-throw competition, a slideshow and food. Says Anderson, “We want the feel of the open house to be energetic and full of life; this gym is going to be active all the time, and we want its start to capture that feeling! We want screaming and cheering and life - and popcorn.”


Starting with the open house, the additional local discount for use will be in effect, as will reservation services for various facilities. Most of the multipurpose rooms, including the ballroom in building C and the larger multi-use room in B (the former cafeteria), can be booked at Kanabcenter.com - the booking process will also inform users of the updates to certain policies like food service and equipment rental. The gym will follow its own separate reservation process, with county staff working on a dedicated reservation page on the website. In the meantime, reservations can be made by emailing Kanab Center staff directly at gymbookings@kanabcenter.com.

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