New Ulm Rec Center access — ‘Check it out’ from the library

NU Library, Park and Rec connection looks to give out Rec Center access

With free rentable passes from the New Ulm Library, equipment like these become available for anyone who wants to sample the Rec Center’s services. Park and Rec Assistant Directior Cheryl Kormann said it only took a couple weeks from when the idea was first pitched to making the program open to the public.

NEW ULM — A collaboration between New Ulm Park and Rec and Public Library looks to make accessing Rec Center amenities easier, with passes patrons can check out.

Currently, there are four rentable passes, two for individuals and two family passes for up to four people. Renters can use the passes for seven days before they need to be returned. The passes cannot go to the same person twice in a row. If a pass is lost or not returned, the access granted by the pass is turned off.

Library Director April Ide said the idea came from discussions with library staff, who had experience with similar programs.

“Several of our library staff have worked at other libraries that checked out different kinds of passes,” Ide said. “Sometimes arts passes or activity passes. When we were thinking about how we could do that here; the kinds of organizations we knew our patrons would want to have access to, the Rec Center rose to the top.”

Assistant Park and Rec Director Cheryl Kormann said Park and Rec likes to partner with the Library on activities or special events but had never done a program like this before. With concerted effort, they were able to get all of the details hammered out in just two weeks.

A couple use the indoor walking track at the Rec Center. Admission to use this and other amenities is generally $9 per day, with memberships available.

“[The reception’s been] really great,” Ide said. “We posted on Facebook yesterday and we’ve had a lot of positive comments about how people are excited to use it. We only have one left in the library right now, so people are coming for them right away.”

The passes cover all open activities, including the pool, playground, fitness center, racquetball courts, track, and locker rooms. It does not cover private rentals. To use these amenities is generally $9 for regular admission, $7 for youth and seniors, and $3 for track and playground use only.

Kormann said offering this program gives community members a chance to try before they buy.

“By having this opportunity for people to check it out from the library, it gives them an opportunity to try it out for a week and see if that’s something they want to invest in,” she said. “Maybe they don’t have any other means to come and try it out. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.”

The program will be offered for a year, with potential extensions and expansions of the program depending on its success.

The new Rec Center passes can be rented out here, from the Service Center desk at the New Ulm Library. The passes have been popular, with three of the four passes already rented out for the week.

In addition to the benefits this program will provide the city, Kormann said it was a learning experience for her about the breadth of opportunities available at the library.

“I love creative thinking and how we can work together to offer more to the community,” she said. “I never knew libraries check out so much. There’s so much more to offer than what one might think.”

Passes can be checked out from the library’s service desk. Library hours are 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Rec Center hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today