Sept. 24 was the grand opening of the new Ottawa Recreation Community Center/Goppert Building at 705 W. 15th St. Three months later, and all I can say is, “What a ride!”

People who are using this new facility seem to be very pleased for the most part. Average weekly door traffic is about 1,000, and that doesn’t include organized programs, rentals and those who slip by without signing in at the door.

Opening of a new facility does not go without its heartaches. Staff members have been focusing on issues that arise in staffing, programming and building operation, both mechanical and electrical. Some days it seems you cannot win, and then in comes a patron with a smile, and it is all worthwhile once again.

Staff members are going through a learning curve, not only with the new building, but with job responsibilities. The current staff has three positions that have fewer than 90 days on the job, and three who have assumed additional responsibilities.

We encourage everyone to keep coming and using the facility. We welcome all feedback, good or bad. If you have not yet had the opportunity to stop in, please do, and visit with the staff. Remember entrance and use of the building is free.

— Tommy E. Sink, interim director, Ottawa Recreation Commission