A rec center can be a great way to bring the community together. It can provide a space for people to come and play, exercise, and have fun. Best of all, it gives kids a place to go and learn after school, stay out of trouble, and have organized fun.
Sometimes communities will provide a rec center, and other times it takes someone passionate about their community to take the lead in getting it built.
The cost of building a rec center varies depending on size and location, but typically it’s around $1,000,000 for an average-sized rec center of 10,000 sq. ft.
This cost can fluctuate from $750,000 to $1,300,000 depending on your rec center’s size, layout, and what you choose to include.
If a rec center is what you want to bring to your community, it’s crucial for people who are taking the lead on building one to know what is involved.
There are many things to entertain when building a rec center. We will go through some of the most important considerations below.
- Why Build A Rec Center?
- How To Find The Right Size?
- What Will It Cost To Run?
- Cost of Operating a Rec Center
- How To Fund Your Rec Center
Why Build A Rec Center?
Before constructing a rec center, it’s important to understand why it is being built in the first place. You’ll want to make sure that the community needs and wants this before putting in all the necessary work to make it happen.
If the residents and people in the community don’t see a need for a rec center, it could make you less successful in getting the center built, or worse yet, waste your time, which is something no one wants.
How To Find The Right Size?
The first thing you need to do is figure out how big you want their center to be. It would help if you kept in mind that the footprint is only half of its cost, and other things need to be considered. Consider what you will put inside the rec center and if it’s worth spending more on specific amenities or not.
It’s important to ask yourself some questions when determining the size of your rec center
Where Will The Rec Center Be Located?
How extensive are the other facilities in my area?
What will I have inside the building?
How many people in my community might use it, and what amenities do they want?
The location of the rec center is crucial. It needs to be accessible and in a place where the community can gather. You also need to think about parking, traffic, and other things that might come up.
It’s essential that you have a site plan ready before you start building because the site will determine a lot of what you can do with the center.
What Will It Cost To Run?
The rec center will not only cost money to build, but it will also cost money to run. You need to have a budget in place and include all of the costs associated with running the center.
Utilities, staff, and programs are just a few of the things you need to consider. You might have sponsors or other organizations that will help out, but most of the costs will come from the community.
Cost of Land – $10,000 – $100,000
The cost of land is something that people often forget to consider. If you don’t already own the land, it will cost to purchase a lot for your rec center. The average land cost for a typical rec center will be $10,000 – $100,000, depending on size and location.
If you get support from the city, they may sell or offer city property at a reduced cost.
If you have the land, you need to consider the grading and permitting process to get started.
Rec Center Building Costs – $450,000 – $800,000
The building is the main cost associated with building a rec center. This cost will vary depending on size, but you can expect to spend $450,000 – $800,000 to build a center that is approximately 10,000 sq. ft.
This doesn’t include all of the extras that might need to be added after the construction is complete.
The price for plumbers and other tradesmen will be about $80 per hour.
If you have a large center with many extras, the cost will increase.
Rec Center Amenities – $100,000 – $550,000
The amenities you decide to include are areas where you can save some money if you don’t want all of the bells and whistles. For example, a pool will cost more than a basketball court. The amenities you choose will determine how much the rec center will cost.
You should always have some extra funds in your budget to cover unforeseen costs.
You can build a rec center to be a destination that even outside communities will want to visit, or you can opt for a more simple center that allows kids to play and study.
Here is the cost of some specific amenities you can include in your rec center
Swimming Pool – $50,000 – $200,000 (depending on size and features)
Basketball Court – $30,000 -$60,000
Fitness Room – $10,000 -$25,000
Tennis Court – $15,000 – $30,000
Running Track – $13,000 – $23,000
Soccer Field – $26,000 – $42,000
Batting Cages – $10,000 – $15,000
The cost of a rec center can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. If the community is willing to put in the effort and come together, they can build a perfect center for their needs.
Cost of Operating a Rec Center
Operating a rec center can get pretty expensive. Costs will vary depending on what amenities you put in your rec center, your utilities, staff, and programs. You will want to ensure you have a way to pay for all the ongoing expenses associated with your rec center.
This includes charging for access to the facility or finding ways to fundraise, so the costs of keeping the facility open don’t fall solely on you. You should assume several expenses to keep your rec center open and thriving.
Staff Cost – $20,000 -$35,000 Each
You will want to consider how much it will cost to pay your staff.
Depending on their hours and your location, you can expect to pay about $20,000 – $35,000 a year for each staff member.
There are many different positions that a rec center needs to fill, so you will want to make sure you have a way to have a fully-staffed facility. Some of the jobs that will need to be served at your rec center are:
- Administrator – $35,000 – $50,000 per year
This position will be the most important. For a community center, this is usually a director or manager of the facility. They coordinate all activities and ensure that everything functions properly, such as accounting and safety protocols.
- Program Director – $25,000 – $35,000 per year
This position is in charge of all the programming for the center. They will work with the community to create a schedule that meets the needs of everyone.
- Maintenance Staff – $15,000 – $25,000 per year
You will need someone to take care of the facility and keep it looking nice
Maintain the exterior of the building
Ensure equipment is in proper working order
Do minor repairs
- Facility Staff – $10,000 – $15,000 per year
This staff associate will assist members at the facility. They are responsible for ensuring that everyone feels safe and welcome when it’s time to play.
Some of their responsibilities are
Ensuring safety protocols are followed
Helping members find the equipment they need to use
Maintaining cleanliness throughout the facility
Distributing programs created by the program director
- Lifeguards – $10.00 – $15.00 per hour
If you have a swimming pool, you will need lifeguards to protect the swimmers. Not having trained lifeguards can be a huge liability risk for your center.
- Teachers – $20.00 – $30.00 per hour
If you have a fitness room or other program that requires instructors, you will need to budget for their pay.
Utilities – $3,000 – $10,000 Per Month
Your utilities will vary depending on the size of your rec center and the amenities you have. You can expect to pay between $3,000 and $10,000 per month for all your utilities.
This can include water, electricity, gas, and trash.
Maintenence – $1,000 – $5,000 Per Year
Your budget for maintenance costs will range from $1,000 to $5,000 per month, depending on the size and age of your facility.
This includes repairs and upkeep of the building and all equipment.
Liability Insurance – $1,000 – $3,000 Per Year
You will also need to have a substantial liability insurance plan in place.
This can range from minimum coverage of $1,000 per year to upwards of $3,000, depending on your space and activities offered.
Liability insurance is meant to protect you if anyone gets injured at the facility. Some recommendations for how much insurance to carry are $1,000,000 per person, and $2,000,000 per incident, in case of property damage or bodily injury.
Employee Compensation Insurance – $1,500 – $3,500 Per Year
You should also have employee compensation insurance. This will provide benefits to your employees in case they are injured while working at the rec center.
An employee compensation plan can range from $1,500 to $3,500 per year, depending on the size of your staff.
Employee Benefits – $500 – $2,000 Per Month
If you want to attract reliable employees, you will want to offer benefits. This can range from $500 to $2,000 per month per employee, depending on the package you choose.
This includes health insurance, dental, and life insurance.
How To Fund Your Rec Center
Now that you know how much it costs to run a rec center, you may wonder where the money will come from. Some rec centers are funded through local taxes. This is usually not large enough to cover everything needed, so you will also have fundraisers and charge fees for using the facility.
The best way to fund your rec center is to find a sponsor. This could be a company or an individual passionate about fitness or community and wants to see the neighborhood get active.
Talk to your local government to see if they are willing to help fund the center. They may be more likely to do this if you can show them the rec center’s positive impact on the community.
The fundraising you do can help support your facility and allow it to grow as needed.
You can also apply for grants to help support your facility. Some government organizations will assist rec centers in the public’s interest. These can be very competitive, so you may need to look into them early to be considered for one of these awards.
Local contractors may be willing to give you a break on their rates if they are hired to build the rec center. You can ask for donations of materials as well.
It’s good to have a solid budget worked out before you begin construction on your rec center. This will help you stay on track and avoid any unexpected expenses. You may need to make some adjustments as you go, but it’s always best to start with a plan.
Building a rec center can be a big undertaking, but it’s worth it in the long run. By considering all the costs involved, you can ensure your facility is running smoothly and providing value to the community.
If you are passionate about fitness and want to see your community get active, building a rec center may be a great idea.
Rec centers are a great way to help promote health and wellness in the community. However, it is essential to know how much money you will need to build your rec center before you begin construction or fundraising efforts.
This will give you a good idea of whether or not you can afford to have this type of facility at all.
There are a lot of costs that come with running a rec center. The most important ones to consider are the cost of employee benefits, insurance, and facility upkeep.
You should also budget for fundraising and local taxes. The best way to fund your rec center is to find a sponsor. This could be a company or an individual passionate about fitness and wants to see the community thrive.
By considering all of these costs, you can make sure your facility is running smoothly and meets the community’s needs for years to come.