The City of Utica Val Bialas Recreation Center has reopened after approximately seven years of closure due to inconsistent weather conditions. Families now have a place to go on weekends.
From this Wednesday there will be winter activities for children during their winter vacation. Even though there is not enough snow on the ground like today, the event organizer. Hanka Grabovica says she is happy that there is a place where children and families can gather during the winter.
“[We can] play with Legos. We can read different types of books,” Grabovica said. “We can play board games. We can draw. We can color. We can do many different activities.
After seven years without a scheduled program, Grabocvica has helped get Val Bialas back on track.
“I have two children, they have been skiing since they were three years old,” Grabovica said. “My husband and I skied [for a] long duration. We always came to Woods Valley, McCauley, Gore Mountain. Every time I pass [the] leisure centre, my children always say: ‘Mom, when can we ski here? When is it going to be open? So it’s always that reminder.
Grabovica asked how to get ski trails back in working order and volunteered to help children and families enjoy winter activities in their own community.
“Where in a small town like Utica do we have something like that? A hill, where we can ski, snow tube, we can sled, we can do many different winter activities,” Grabovica said.
The ski, snowboard and snow tubing slopes have yet to reopen, but Grabovica says some things need to be done before they can officially reopen.
“It’s kind of just the start,” Grabovica said. “For next year I won’t say much, but we have big plans. I’m sure it’s going to be much, much more fun here. We are definitely looking to start skiing, snowboarding and tubing on time as soon as we have snow next year.
As the winter holidays start on Monday for the most part, the center will reopen from Wednesday with indoor and outdoor activities depending on the weather, as well as food and drink.
“If there’s snow, we can go sledding,” she said.
Whether you enjoy the chilly outdoors or sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate, there is a bit of fun for everyone.
The leisure center will be open throughout the rest of the winter from Thursday to Sunday.