Wellness center options discussed
With the planned Wadena Regional Wellness Center to receive $4.2 million in state funding as announced Sept. 13, the city council and wellness center organizers held a special meeting Tuesday night to go over options for the upcoming building pro...
With the planned Wadena Regional Wellness Center to receive $4.2 million in state funding as announced Sept. 13, the city council and wellness center organizers held a special meeting Tuesday night to go over options for the upcoming building project.
Chad Rettke of construction management firm Kraus-Anderson said the wellness center was likely to be finished by early 2014.
Steve Miller of architectural firm Perkins + Will said the upcoming winter would be a good time to call for bids from contractors.
Also, Council Member Toby Pierce said unlike private business, which tends to move along more quickly, the nature of government projects take a relatively longer time to finish.
Mayor Wayne Wolden said it was ironic that application requirements were for projects to be "shovel ready," but once they received the grant, the expectations for going through the actual project did not lend themselves to a "shovel ready" schedule.
Different alternatives for wellness center plans were also discussed.
The current wellness center plans are pared down from about two years ago when the project was to include certain amenities, like a spa and an ice arena, the latter which ended up being built separately at the old community center site.
Miller said the current plan includes one gymnasium and no skyway, and the main pool is to be a hybrid of kid-friendly recreational features in one area and a three-lane area for lap swimmers.
Council Member Don Niles said some options people have brought up involve getting enough fundraising for additional gym space to double as an events center, six lanes instead of three lanes in the lap area of the pool and a skyway connection to the high school.
Niles also said $750,000 was suggested as a public fundraising goal, on top of existing fundraising sources.
Other funding sources to go to the wellness center include the $4.2 million Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) grant, $910,603 in FEMA funds, $189,397 in city insurance, $3,011,900 in private fundraising pledges, $1.1 million in community center insurance and the $750,000 state grant awarded in fall 2010. It adds up to $10,161,900 for total funding for the wellness center as of Tuesday, Niles said.
Pierce and Tri-County Health Care CEO Joel Beiswenger said operating costs should also be kept in mind.
Additionally, Wolden and other city leaders expressed a desire for more dialogue with the school district on proceeding with the project.