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SWCC offers fun and fitness for all

How much can one little bond measure accomplish? How about a 48,000 square-foot center with numerous fields, courts, pools and weight and exercise rooms that are available to the public?

The Southwest Community Center (SWCC) at Gabriel Park began life on a piece of paper as a local ballot measure. After being voted on and approved, work on the fitness center began and it was finished on June 19, 1999. Three years later, it is being used by over 400,000 people a year, according to aquatics coordinator Sue Cox.

Features of the facility include an indoor six-lane lap pool, a gymnasium, a fitness center with cardiovascular and circuit weight equipment and a waterslide and rope swing. Outside, the park holds a baseball field, sand volleyball courts and conditioning trails.

“Whatever you want, we got it,” Cox said. “It’s a state of the art facility.”

An all-day pass for the center is just $4.25 for adults 18-59, and visitors may come and go as they please. This fee also covers several of the drop-in classes offered by the center.

Another way to use the center is to buy a punch card, which can be used at any time and are sold at a discounted rate. A 20-visit punch card costs $60 for residents and $74 for nonresidents.

From aquaerobics to aero-ki-bo, which combines aerobics and martial arts, to yoga, SWCC offers over 15 drop-in classes. These classes range from beginner to advanced levels.

There are also various classes and events for children at the facility. From preschool mini-camps to their teen “Friday Night Live” program.

Just a quick hop on the No. 1 bus or a short drive south of campus at 6820 S.W. 45th, the center is easily accessible.

“We have a family membership,” center user Richard Sain said. “I think it’s great. It’s real convenient to come here.”

Because SWCC was approved by a majority of Portland residents, the facility is centered around meeting the needs of the community.

“This center runs by a sense of community,” Cox said.

Be prepared to have a good time, she said. The center is not only health oriented, but is also a great place to just relax, have fun and even blow off some steam.

“I love it here,” Cox said. “Everybody that comes here is having a good time.”

For more information about the SWCC, call 503-823-PLAY.