Though Woodward Park Recreation Center wasn't on the list of 11 recreation centers the city closed because of budget problems, the center's patrons likely will notice some changes.

Though Woodward Park Recreation Center wasn't on the list of 11 recreation centers the city closed because of budget problems, the center's patrons likely will notice some changes.

Remaining recreation centers will see changes in personnel as staff members from other recreation centers earn new assignments, said Terri Leist, spokeswoman for the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks. About half of the city's recreation centers, including Woodward Park, will have new directors as a result of the cuts.

"They're certainly going to see a difference in the staff members who are there," Leist said of recreation center patrons.

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

Budget cuts to the department are not expected to immediately affect the programming at Woodward Park, Leist said, but as different 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."

Woodward Park assistant director Kelly Hoffman said the center hasn't seen an increase in traffic since the other centers closed nearly two weeks ago. However, most activities are in the middle of the winter session, Hoffman said, and the center expects to see more people signing up for the spring session of programs.

"Our programs are pretty much ongoing," Hoffman said. "For spring, we may (see an increase). In fact, we anticipate it."

Hoffman said he expects much of Woodward Park's new patrons will come from nearby Feddersen Recreation Center, which was closed Feb. 14.

Leist said recreation centers that remain open will not receive any additional funding to help deal with an increase in traffic.

Regardless, Hoffman said the increase in demand on programming without additional funding is not expected to affect the amount of programs the center can accommodate.

"We don't anticipate a reduction in programming," he said.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com