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Plans progress for new wellness center in Ellinwood
ell kl ellinwood rec
Kids participating in the Ellinwood Recreation Commission activities paint pictures after school. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

ELLINWOOD — The Ellinwood Recreation Commission hired its first ever director, Kyle Chamberlin who began last January, and the community has seen a whirlwind of activity since then. The commission continues to dream big and have proposed renting the second floor of Sunflower Bank for use as a fitness facility.
Mel Waite and Chamberlin were present at the Ellinwood City Council meeting on Tuesday to review the progress. They have held 22 programs in the last nine months for all ages.
Chamberlin said next year, he is planning for 40 programs.
Waite thanked the council for supporting the efforts of the commission, particularly through the planning months of 2013, when the group borrowed funds that were repaid, to set up an office and prepare for the employment of Chamberlin.
The commission began discussing a fitness facility earlier this year and checked into other  facilities in the area. “We’ve studied other communities and learned from them,” said Waite. He said they determined that it would be cost prohibitive to build their own fitness facility.
The commission began looking for rental space.
They found that the second floor of Sunflower Bank, 13 N. Main, is available at a reasonable rent. “With minimal remodeling, this space can be made suitable to meet the needs of the Wellness Center,” he told the council. “This location provides approximately 1600 square feet of work out area, a multi-purpose room, office space for the director and two restrooms.”
The carpeting in the work out room would need replacing, Waite said.
The commission would add security video monitoring equipment and key card access for patrons. They would plan to be open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The building has an elevator.
The commission has proposed the following equipment: four treadmills, three cross trainers, one upright stationary bike, one recumbent stationary bike; and the following weight equipment, seated leg curl, leg press, chest press, rowing bicep, leg extensions, shoulder press, pec fly and rear delt, lat pull, medicine balls with rack, two tier dumbbell rack, 8 foot half rack, dual adjustable pulley system, free weights, and three television sets.
They are also proposing a $20 per month fee. In addition, they will offer discounts to businesses that provide this as a benefit to employees.
The commission collects its own mill levy assessment from residents of the USD 355 school district. This is capped at three mills, and generates approximately $130,000 of revenue.
The commission found some used Cybex equipment that came out of a closed corporate exercise facility available for purchase, Waite said. They want to invest in good quality equipment that will last.
The total start up costs are calculated at $125,082.
Waite said they have actively applied for grants and have received about $10,000 so far. They continue to apply for grants and are trying to raise funds to offset the cost.