By Alex Fees
Richmond Heights, MO (KSDK) - At The Heights, the community center for residents of Richmond Heights, Maplewood, and Brentwood, people who are not residents of those communities have been able to use that facility by paying "dailies," an $8 admission fee.
But after staff members felt prompted to call police due to unruly behavior on the basketball courts, Heights managers are changing that policy. Police responded on two of the past three Saturdays.
"It was just lots of people," said Teresa Proebsting, a Parks and Recreation Director. "It's your typical basketball game. We've got a lot of people in here playing and they're getting loud. Nothing physical. Nothing like that, but it's just hard play."
Heights members were alarmed about the need for police presence.
"I'm a little concerned that this is a place where families would come that somebody would be so disruptive that police would be needed to come," said Joann Bauwens.
Mary Corrigan agrees.
"It's rather frightening because I also work out here with my kids," said Corrigan. "It's frightening if it got dangerous enough they had to call police."
Margaret Ann McCabe was surprised.
"I think it's very unusual," said McCabe. "We have not witnessed anything like that."
McCabe said she feels very secure at The Heights. Her husband, Myles, does not believe activity on the basketball court is well-supervised by staff.
"My guess is had they been there from the start, as in many of these things, when the first shouting occurred, it could have stopped right there," said Myles.
The admission policy at The Heights is changing this weekend. Starting Saturday, weekend admission will be restricted to residents and members, and their guests.
"We are going to start a policy, and it may be temporary, just to have members and residents only to use the facility," said Proebsting. "You would have to show your member card or proof of residency. And each member if they do have an annual pass, they can bring one guest. And that guest would pay the daily rate."
Proebsting said Saturday The Heights hosted 170 non-residents. That total, however, covers the entire day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. So those people weren't all in the gymnasium.
"They could have been in the pool, they could have been in the fitness center," she said.
Calls to Richmond Heights police about this matter were not returned.