South Jordan residents will soon have one less excuse for not keeping in shape: Salt Lake County plans to take over a defunct fitness center in the area.

Salt Lake County has received verbal acceptance of its bid to buy the Quest Sports & Fitness Center, 10300 S. Redwood Road. The county will pay $1 million for the center. Building a similar facility would cost about $4 million, according to county officials."This is a top-notch facility which fits our south county needs very nicely," said Salt Lake County Commission Chairman Brent Overson. "This is a one-time opportunity to upgrade our recreation inventory."

The 40,000 square-foot center includes an indoor pool, gymnasium, five racquetball courts and workout rooms for fitness and aerobic activities.

The center closed down in December after the company that operated it filed for bankruptcy. South Jordan residents then petitioned the county to acquire the center.

Glen Lu, county parks director, said he expects the county will complete the purchase within 60 days. The county will do minor improvements and repairs before opening it to the public.

The county will hire three to four full-time employees to run the center as well as numerous part-time staff, Lu said. The county will emphasize fitness programs at the center, which has several large workout rooms filled with exercise equipment.

The Bingham High School swim team, which has held 4 a.m. workouts at the West Jordan Middle School, also will be able to use the center's indoor pool.

"We can offer good services that are much needed in that area," Lu said.

The center had about 3,500 members when it closed in December. People who held memberships will have to resolve their contracts with the former owner, but the county wants to be "nice" to them, Lu said.

"We haven't had time to discuss what we can do but are taking that into consideration," he said.