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Facilities appreciated

The Gateway Aquatic Center reopened Monday after being closed since July 1 for the installation of a new filter system.

The reopening is a welcome occasion for the many residents who use the facility for fitness and recreation. Its closure was a reminder that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has some excellent facilities that locals appreciate and rely upon.

From one end of the community to the other, one can see recreational facilities being enjoyed by people of all ages. A recent Saturday evening saw both of the softball fields at Pt. Higgins Elementary School in use, as was the disc golf course and children’s playground there.

On the other end, Esther Shea Field at Fawn Mountain Elementary School has progressed from a track to a full facility capable of hosting track, soccer and football — now with covered bleachers. It’s been a work in progress, and every new addition improves the facility.

The Gateway Recreation Center bustles throughout the day with variety of activities, including exercise rooms and basketball. The Ketchikan High School’s Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium is one of the premier high school basketball settings in the state.

Also at Kayhi is the newly renovated Dudley Field that showcases the Lady Kings softball program.

Kayhi baseball, Ketchikan Little League baseball and American Legion Baseball make good use of Walker Field, a venerable space that has served the programs well over the years. That being said, an update to Walker Field would be welcome in this baseball-appreciative community.

We appreciate the community’s commitment to recreational facilities — and the borough’s continued effort to maintain what we have while planning toward the future. Next Monday, the Assembly will consider spending $50,000 for a study that would result in a priority list for capital projects for outdoor athletic fields in the borough. That’s a chunk of money. It’s worth considering, though, as community residents continue to show that they use, enjoy and appreciate quality recreational facilities in Ketchikan.