ELLINWOOD — Ellinwood residents may soon have a Wellness Center if the Ellinwood Recreation Commission has it way. There is currently no fitness facility in Ellinwood.
“We hope to have a big kick-off around the first of the year,” said Mel Waite, head of the board of directors. “We’re looking for existing square footage.”
The center would include typical adult fitness equipment, including cardio, treadmill, elliptical, and strength training equipment. The commission wants the equipment to be high quality so that it will last, be safe for patrons, and meet the needs of the community.
The commission has a couple of properties under consideration.
The commission also wants the workout room to have an adjacent Activity Room so that aerobics classes and arts and crafts can be offered. ERC Director Kyle Chamberlin said it was important that parents be able to work out while the children were in classes.
Waite said obstacles remain and the commission is considering all funding options such as grant funding. “We are challenged with start up costs,” he said, as well as regular operational costs such as staffing, utilities and insurance.
There has been no final decision on usage fees. “We want to keep it affordable,” said Waite. They do plan to offer corporate memberships for employees.
The commission is considering all funding options such as grant funding. “We are challenged with start up costs,” he said. The commission will take donations.
Waite said the mill levy assessment for ERC is capped at three mills, which is currently being assessed. Waite admits that it is going to be a challenge to meet all of the requirements with the funding stream.
At one time, ERC considered using Ellinwood School District high school facilities as the Wellness Center. However, the downside would be limited access for patrons.
Using USD 355 facilities would eliminate usage from 7:30-3:30 p.m. week days as well as limiting access during ball games and special event while school is in session, said Waite.
He anticipates heavier usage of an indoor facility during inclement weather in fall, winter and spring. “You can work out outside during the summer,” said Waite. Also, “people want to work out during lunch,” he said, or right after they get off work.
The commission will have a public hearing on the upcoming budget at 7 p.m. at the Ellinwood School/Community Library on July 21.
“We want do our best to serve our community,” said Waite.