SOUTH PORTLAND – Starting on Friday, Aug. 8, at 5:30 p.m., the South Portland Community Center will be closed for three weeks for a variety of upgrades, including the installation of new bleachers in the gym.

The community center will reopen on Monday, Aug. 25, at 6 a.m., but the gym and the pool will remain closed through Sept. 1, according to Rick Towle, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

The administrative offices will be open for business throughout the shutdown, which occurs annually. Towle also said groups that meet regularly at the community center would still be given space, although perhaps not in their usual meeting spot.

The planned shutdown also includes the Redbank Gym on the west side of the city, Towle said.

“We’ll be doing stuff like refinishing the floors, painting, putting up signs, moving scoreboards for better viewing and adjusting the indoor basketball hoops at Redbank,” he said.

Towle said the community center is always shut down in August in order for his department to do the variety of upkeep and maintenance projects that accumulate throughout the year.

He said August is the best time to do this type of work since there are the least number of visitors to the community center at this time of year and there are no swim lessons or volleyball or basketball camps going on.

Towle said people might notice a few differences when the community center and Redbank Gym reopen and described the planned projects as “aesthetic and functional changes.”

He said the “most dramatic” difference would be in the community center gym, especially because the new bleachers are blue in color. But other changes being made would be “more subtle,” Towle said.

In terms of the municipal pool, he said updated tiling would be added to the changing rooms and some changes would be made to the seating areas, but the work would not be as noticeable as when the pool decking was replaced.

Other projects planned for the shutdown include finishing the transformation of the pre-school area at the community center into an area suitable for kids of all ages instead.

Anyone with questions regarding the shutdown should call the Parks and Recreation Department at 767-7650.

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