With 11 of the city's recreation centers closed for about two weeks, the Whetstone Community Center already is seeing an increase in traffic.

With 11 of the city's recreation centers closed for about two weeks, the Whetstone Community Center already is seeing an increase in traffic.

Center director Connie Terry said over the last week and a half, Whetstone has seen increased participation in programs, particularly senior programming.

"We're gaining a lot of participation from the Martin Janis Center," Terry said.

She said additional traffic could be difficult for the center, which already is heavily used by those living in the Clintonville community.

"We're pretty much filled up and booked on our own, so we can't accommodate everyone," Terry said.

Recreation centers remaining open will not see additional funding to help them deal with program participants coming from closed recreation centers, said Terri Leist, spokeswoman for the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks.

Regardless, Terry said, the Whetstone center will try to make new patrons fit in.

"All of these changes are impacting everyone, and we're going to try to make our participants coming from other centers feel welcome," she said.

In addition to seeing new traffic, Whetstone also will be affected by the cuts as new personnel moves into the center.

About half of the city's recreation centers, including Whetstone, will see new directors as a result of the cuts, Leist said.

As other centers close, Leist said, employees at those centers are able to bid on other positions based on seniority.

At Whetstone, Terry will become an assistant director, and Rick Bruhn, from the Far East Recreation Center, will take over as director.

Budget cuts to the rec department are not expected to immediately affect the programming at Whetstone, but as new staff moves in with expertise in different areas, the programs may be altered.

"If you were hired as a rec leader based on your artistic skills, you likely won't be teaching basketball," Leist said.

For the winter session, programming at the rec centers will remain the same, but there may be changes come spring or summer, Leist said.

"I think it's probably too soon to tell," she said. "It's hard to say how it's all going to shake out at this time."

The good news at Whetstone, Terry said, is that cuts to the department should not mean a decrease in programs at Whetstone, mainly because fees paid by program participants cover the costs of those programs.

"For the most part, there won't be a scale down," Terry said. "Most likely, it will just keep growing."