2015 saw the culmination of a four-year effort by the Ellinwood Recreation Commission and volunteers in the community. The dream of opening a year-round fitness facility was realized the morning of May 1 with the grand opening of the Ellinwood Wellness Center.
Commission chair Mel Waite and the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce greeted community members gathered in the facility’s all-purpose room to mark the occasion. It was expected the room will hold classes and special programs, and at some point in the future will also provide on-site babysitting.
“The goal of the commission has always been to offer programing for our community,” Waite said at the opening. “We are not a profit-driven enterprise, and we depend on the partnerships we’ve created within our community to keep the cost accessible for everyone.” Memberships for single people are $25 a month, and for families, $35 a month.
Waite thanked several corporate and community organizations for their financial and in-kind contributions to the project, as well as a handful of individual donors. The facility offers a variety of cardio equipment, circuit and free weights stations. HB Communications, an area cable and internet supplier, donated several flat-screen televisions and will provide cable and wi-fi signal at no cost to the center.
In the near future, the commission hopes to have wireless transmitters configured for each television so patrons will be able to choose which television they wish to listen to through the headphones on their personal wireless devices. “This is a huge asset for Ellinwood,” said then Mayor Frank Koelsch.