Recreation destination: Randolph business fulfills need for community, family center

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 5:23 PM EST
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RANDOLPH, Vt. (WCAX) - Tucked into downtown Randolph is a 6,000-square-foot facility called Motio Recreation. The building was constructed by and for the community.

Behind the warehouse walls, Motio Recreation comes alive. It’s a multipurpose playground for kids, teens, adults, seniors, and every age in between.

“We would travel if we wanted to enjoy something like this, so for Motio to come to our town is really special,” said Megan Sault of Randolph.

“We try to come here a lot. It’s really fun. You can run around, climb and jump on their airbag. I like to practice my backflips here,” said Connor Sault, 11.

“I think it’s really awesome that I can come here and use a lot of my energy. There’s a lot of space and room to be you,” said Nora Lacroix, 9.

“I really like coming here, and I really would come every day,” added Maya Lacroix, 7. “I really like practicing my flips and back walk-overs.”

Town leaders say without a teen or community center, Motio Rec is the area’s first-of-its-kind facility, serving not just the 5,000 Randolph residents, but also those living in Brookfield, Braintree, Granville, Roxbury and beyond. While kids climb, run, swing, and bounce, mom and dad can watch from the workout room or golf simulator. The nearest similar center is as far as an hour’s drive away.

“This actually has shaped up to be sort of the community center. You could walk in here just about any given weekend and see all kinds of people from all different socioeconomic statuses, all different walks of life,” said Rep. Jay Hooper, D-Orange-Washington-Addison. “I hope someday this looks three times as large as it does today.”

“It’s filling a void that was here for especially children and families that have children,” said Perry Armstrong of the Randolph Selectboard.

Thanks to the space, kids in this small town are taking their talents to new heights. They’re learning the ropes on sports and activities they may have never had the opportunity to try before.

Motio Rec is the brainchild of Randolph Union High School sweethearts Lindsay and Keegan Haupt.

Lindsay, a pediatric physical therapist at the Gifford Medical Center, and Keegan, a contractor by trade, combined their skillsets to build a business born out of their love story and out of necessity for their neighbors.

“I wanted to meet people in my community with kids that were the same age as my kids. Give them a space where they could grow up with their friends,” Lindsay said. “It’s been really special to have our family and our friends, some of who we grew up with in high school, telling us how much this space has changed them.”

“We thought one day wouldn’t it be cool to be able to keep people in town and give them something to do here in Randolph,” Keegan said. “It’s really been a community project.”

In 2019, the couple dug deep into their pockets to fund the $450,000 facility, supplemented by start-up loans and local support. Residents helped raise $20,000, while students from the high school’s trade program joined Keegan’s construction team. “Sometimes I had anywhere from eight to 15 students in here, working alongside my guys. We had local businesses who hung up their business for a day and brought their employees down here to pitch in and give us help for a day,” Keegan said.

“Every time we hit a roadblock that was like, ‘Maybe this is too big,’ we talked to one other person that was like, ‘We need this, this is something our community needs,’” Lindsay said.

Motio opened in March 2020, but the pandemic didn’t compromise its potential. And the Haupts’ daughters, Briella, 9, and Laila, 7, are its loudest cheerleaders.

“I’m very grateful for this place,” Briella said. “It means a lot to me that my parents own this, but also that I have a place to come and work out or play with other people. It’s not just a joy to us, it’s a joy to the whole community, and I think and hope a lot of other people will get to use this space.”

“It’ll always be here, we’ll just keep adding more stuff that might help you, too,” Laila said. “Some people don’t get to go to gyms like this or they’ll have to drive like an hour away, and I think that’s really important that there’s one closer to them.”

Nancy Murray, Lindsay’s mother, is considered “the face” of Motio, running the operation while the Haupts do their day jobs. “Best part of it is people always end up being happy,” she said. “It’s been a real life-saver.

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