This past Friday on February 24th, a spectacular facility in Phoenix, AZ had a grand opening. The Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities (Spofit) is a 45,000 sqft facility dedicated to people with disabilities. The facility is only one of two of its kind in the U.S. Designed and constructed from the ground up, the facility has a fitness area with exercise equipment, two full size basketball courts, aquatics area, rock climbing wall, and jogging track.
With a price tag of $12 million, this fitness facility is state of the art and gorgeous from an architectural perspective. The heart of the facility are the huge open air basketball courts. I don’t know the exact height of the ceiling but judging from the pictures it’s easily over 40 feet. No concerns over claustrophobia here. The courts can be used for other sports and activities such as seated volleyball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair soccer. Halfway up and suspended above the courts is a jogging track. The track is a 1/9 mile oval and can be used by runners and wheelchair users.
At one end of the open air courts is a 35 foot rock climbing wall. From the picture above you can tell this wall is no joke, it’s huge! Which allows many people to use the wall at one time. This large size also allows different difficulty levels along the wall. Giving beginners and experienced climbers all a chance to experience rock climbing.
The fitness area is 7,500 sqft in size and has all the equipment of a wold class gym. All accessible and made for people with disabilities. Including strength training machines, cardio machines, free weights, and other specialized equipment. Group fitness rooms are also available.
In March, Spofit will be opening their outdoor aquatics center. Being that the facility is in Arizona, outdoor aquatics makes sense. The aquatics center will feature a lap pool, therapy pool, and spa. The lap and therapy pools will each have an elevator lift, a hydraulic lift and transfer access. The spa will have hydraulic lift and transfer access.
I really can’t get over how great the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities looks. This fitness facility can really compete with any gym in terms of looks and quality of equipment. Hopefully even small characteristics of Spofit can make their way into other gyms. For more information please visit their web page www.spofit.org and their Facebook site Spofit Facebook Page.