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You can take a virtual reality tour of the new Fairview Heights rec center

Take a virtual reality tour of the new Fairview Heights rec center

The city of Fairview Heights has released a video that allows people to take a virtual reality tour of its new recreation center under construction. The REC is expected to open early next spring.
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The city of Fairview Heights has released a video that allows people to take a virtual reality tour of its new recreation center under construction. The REC is expected to open early next spring.

You've read the descriptions and seen the artist renderings. Now you can take a virtual reality tour of the new Fairview Heights recreation center under construction.

The city has released a video that allows people to explore the inside and outside of the 58,000-square-foot center, which will be known as The REC. It's expected to open early next spring on Bunkum Road.

"Everything is going real good," said Project Manager Ryan Savage, of Holland Construction in Swansea. "We've been very productive (in the past month). The weather has been helping us."

Holland broke ground in November. Workers have dug the basement and built and backfilled the foundation walls. They're now putting up above-ground structural masonry block walls and pouring concrete floor slabs.

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This artist rendering shows what the Fairview Heights recreation center will look like when it's completed next year. It was designed by EWR Architects, which recently was bought by Farnsworth Group. Provided

The project won't be affected by steel tariffs imposed recently by the Trump administration, according to Savage.

"Our steel has been purchased already," he said. "It's due to be on site by the end of the month."

The center will cost an estimated $21 million, including $17 million for construction and another $4 million for land, architectural fees, equipment and furniture. The city has secured $18.5 million in bonds that will be paid back through its food and beverage tax.

Fairview Heights residents will get a discount at The REC, but membership will be open to anyone from the surrounding area. The complex also will offer short-term passes for visitors.

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The aquatic center at the new Fairview Heights recreation complex will include a four-lane lap pool, splash pad, water slide, lazy river and open-swim pool with a "zero-depth" entry for easy access. Provided by EWR Architects

"We are getting ready to advertise for the facility manager and the membership manager," said Angela Beaston, city parks and recreation director. "These are the first positions we're going to fill. They will start developing the programs and selling the membership packages."

Membership rates haven't yet been finalized, she said.

The virtual reality tour begins with an aerial view of the property, which will include a walking path, running track, soccer field, dog park and trail around the perimeter.

Then the viewer descends into the parking lot and "walks" past three flag poles, through the main entrance and into the lobby, getting a glimpse of the colorful Clip 'n Climb area.

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The new Fairview Heights recreation center will have a Clip 'n Climb area instead of a traditional climbing wall, the only one of its kind in the region. The concept was developed in New Zealand. Provided by EWR Architects

Next comes the window-lined fitness center full of exercise equipment and an aquatic center with a four-lane lap pool, splash pad, water slide, lazy river and open-swim pool.

"I want to get the exercise equipment ordered soon because the price is probably going to go up," Beaston said.

The tour ends by going around the exterior and returning to the parking lot.

The center also will have a gymnasium with basketball and volleyball courts; an indoor walking track; rooms for Pilates, yoga and other classes; a multipurpose room; party and meeting rooms; ping-pong and pool tables and a child-care center.

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