Special to The Explorer/Al Petrillo, Richard Kolasa, center, for whom the Skyline Country Club's new K Center is named, stands with his wife Sandy and club president John Rooney after the center's logo was unveiled last month.

The former general manager of the Skyline Country Club has been recognized by the club, which named its new state-of-the-art fitness center named after him.

Skyline's K Center honors Richard Kolasa, who served as the club's general manager for more than 25 years.

"Back around 1980 I told people that fitness is where it was going to be in our country club and people laughed, thinking I was joking," Kolasa said. "And look at what we have now," he added, gesturing at the equipment-filled facility.

Kolasa said the club's first fitness area was "a little tiny place, really a 9- by 12-foot room."

The new facility boasts 6,000 square feet and two levels of fitness and exercise space. A wide range of exercise and weight training equipment — including Matrix, Nautilus and Expresso equipment — is located on the upper level of the center. The lower level houses the Desert Room — classroom space for participatory classes such as pilates, yoga, zumba, spinning, and stretch and flex.

The K Center also includes remodeled men's and women's locker rooms and showers, and spa treatment rooms.

Fitness trainers are using the Nintendo Wii Fit for balance training with clients. In addition, Expresso Virtual Reality bikes give users an interactive fitness experience where the user can view a race course on a 19-inch LCD screen. Web-based technology allows users to race against other users worldwide.

Cost of the K Center, according to Jesse K. Thorpe, Skyline's general manager, was $1.4 million, including the fitness equipment. Thorpe noted more than 4,000 square feet was added to the club to create the new fitness center, using space that was once an outdoor patio and lawn area.

General contractor for the fitness center was Giles Construction of Tucson, while the architect was Bruce Call of Bruce Call of Bruce R. Call Architecture in Tucson.

At a November dedication ceremony, Skyline president John Rooney thanked current and past board of directors members for their support in getting the fitness center built, and praised the construction committee — Don Brown, George Ansell and Ron Heiligenstein — for their efforts and dedication to the task.

Skyline Country Club is privately owned and located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains at 5200 E. Saint Andrews Drive. It has 56,000 square feet of clubhouse facilities, a golf and pro shop, lighted tennis courts, pool, and casual and formal dining rooms, as well as an 18-hole golf course.

"This is a much different place than it was years ago," Thorpe pointed out. "We've been here since 1961 and with the K Center, we can offer members and guests the finest in fitness amenities and service in the Southwest."

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