Say goodbye to the South Park Recreation Center.
The center at 1141 Mass. closed at 5 p.m. Thursday. When it reopens late next spring, the building won’t function as a recreation center; rather, it will serve as the new administrative offices for the Parks and Recreation Department.
City officials earlier this year decided to move the Parks and Recreation offices into the South Park center in an effort to save money. Currently, the city leases office space at 10th and New Hampshire streets — above PepperJax Grill restaurant — for Parks and Recreation.
“It is expected to result in a significant savings,” said Megan Gilliland, communications manager for the city.
Gilliland said the office renovation work is expected to cost about $80,000. But she said the city currently pays $173,000 a year to lease the office space at 10th and New Hampshire streets.
The project represents the latest change for the building, which is on the west side of South Park. The building was built in 1963, and originally was designed to be a youth center, said Fred DeVictor, the former director of parks and recreation for the center. That’s why the center never has had a gymnasium, weight room or other amenities typical of a recreation center.
The center has housed several classes and served as a meeting room facility. Gilliland said the city has found alternate spaces for all classes and events. The two employees at the South Park Center will be transferred to the Community Building, 115 W. 11th.