HURON WELLNESS CENTER
Local citizens support collaborative efforts to design and build
a state-of-the-art health, recreation and community center.
HURON, OH – Huron residents have envisioned a community recreation facility for decades. The leadership of the city of Huron and community stakeholders are assessing the viability of developing a community health and wellness center. A comprehensive feasibility study was recently completed. A committee of Huron residents are spearheading the next steps to turn the conceptual ideas of a local wellness center into a reality.
A proposed Huron wellness center was publicly announced and referenced at the Celebrate Huron: State of the Community event on April 18th. Huron City Manager Andy White stated “Collaboration is critical to realizing a facility of this magnitude in a community of our size. And it started early on with this effort. A 50% reduction of IWP’s standard feasibility fee was matched locally by financial cost sharing for its balance between the city of Huron, Huron City Schools, BGSU Firelands College, a committed group of local citizens and Firelands Regional Medical Center. The initial draft issued demonstrates a path forward for a transformative new facility to establish itself in Huron and have a positive impact on quality of life and community development for years to come. The initial collaboration must continue, and stakeholders will have to commit specific resources to continue this effort.” The desire for a wellness center in Huron and citizen interest was reiterated at the public forum meeting on April 26th at BGSU Firelands. The sentiment that “Huron needs a recreation center” was shared by several attendees.
History of the Citizens for Huron Wellness committee:
A group of passionate local citizens has been working over the past few years to transform the conceptual ideas for a wellness center into a reality. The group formalized into a committee called “Citizens for Huron Wellness” which consists of local community and business leaders, and government officials. Input has been gathered from both experts in community planning and wellness center development, and the community at large resulting in modifications and evolutions, but the overall goals have been consistent.
Mission of the Citizens for Huron Wellness committee:
We are committed to the establishment of a wellness center for the city of Huron, Huron Township and surrounding area that focuses on recreation, education and fitness for residents of all ages and abilities. We strive to enhance healthy lifestyles and well-being in a convenient, safe, inclusive and welcoming environment.
Goals of the Citizens for Huron Wellness committee:
- Aid in the planning and design of the Wellness/Recreation/Community Center
- Develop and provide community awareness, dialog, citizen input and support
- Help with funding, especially private sector fundraising
- Act as a conduit between the various stakeholders, including the city and the community
Progress of the Citizens for Huron Wellness committee:
- Made site visits to various Ohio wellness centers, including the NEW Center in Rootstown, Ohio.
- Conducted community outreach to solicit ideas, suggestions and feedback.
- Received over 400 survey responses from community members.
- Over 300 followers on the Citizens for Huron Wellness Facebook page.
Feasibility Study for a Huron Wellness Center:
A comprehensive feasibility study was recently completed by Integrated Wellness Partners (IWP – http://integrated-wellness-partners.com/). IWP has more than 25 years of experience and has successfully developed 18 medically-based health and wellness facilities. Over the past months, the IWP team engaged in a comprehensive feasibility assessment of Huron to determine market viability, community health and wellness needs, project stakeholders and potential partners, competitive environment, facility size and site prioritization, suggested clinical integration and initial programming, initial financial projections and special considerations. IWP typically charges $50,000 for a feasibility study but was willing to reduce the amount for Huron in half to $25,000 due to the potential for this project. As shared by Huron City Manager Andy White, funding for the feasibility study was provided by a wide range of prospective partners and several local community members.
What amenities might a Wellness Center in Huron include?
- The facility will be designed to address a multitude of community needs from diverse constituents from birth to end-of-life. Meeting the needs of Huron area residents of all abilities is imperative.
- The proposed center will include aquatics facilities, fitness equipment, and a range of classes.
- An aquatics area will include a swimming pool able to accommodate a wide range of activities including water therapy, water aerobics and swimming lessons.
- Flexible community rooms for meetings, events and possible child care options.
- The wellness center will also incorporate health education, nutrition and dietary programs.
- Also serve as a hub for all activities for community programming, including Huron Parks and Recreation programming.
Where might a Wellness Center be located?
While various possible locations have been explored, and considered, the prospective location for the Huron Wellness Center is on the Rye Beach Road corridor near the BGSU Firelands College campus.
How will a Wellness Center be funded?
The wellness center will be funded through a public-private partnership. IWP partners with universities, academic medical centers, health systems and municipalities to strategically fund wellness centers. A goal of the Huron Citizens for Wellness committee is to financially support the construction costs and operating funds for the wellness center.
How can interested parties learn more?
For more information, please see the Citizens for Huron Wellness Facebook page:
Feel free to contact any of the committee members listed below with suggestions, opportunities, etc. and share the email address with anyone looking to get involved.
Please contact the Citizens for Huron Wellness committee at [email protected].
CITIZENS FOR HURON WELLNESS COMMITTEE
Jody Brown Jody Mast
Jenny Hagy Bill Murray
Trey Hardy, Huron City Commissioner Jim W. Murray
Dr. Craig Johnson Richard Pohl
Amy Roldan, Director of the Huron Chamber of Commerce