New name for new wellness center
The new name of the Grand Forks Park District's new wellness center is Choice Health & Fitness, the park commissioners decided today. A news conference and reception were held today to announce the new name, which will be used always official...
The new name of the Grand Forks Park District's new wellness center is Choice Health & Fitness, the park commissioners decided today.
A news conference and reception were held today to announce the new name, which will be used always officially, said Brandy Chaffee, spokeswoman for the Park District.
The $23 million center -- $25 million and change if architectural and engineering fees and equipment are figured in -- is just about under construction and is scheduled to be open by fall 2012.
All the money to do it is being raised outside of any taxes, the park board has promised.
Choice Financial bought the right to name it, with a pledge a year ago to give $2.75 million over 20 years.
The plan is for the fitness center to be the centerpiece of a 42-acre Altru Wellness Village -- Altru Health System is another of 11 big donor/partners in the project -- on the east side of South Washington Street between 40th Avenue and 47th Avenue.
The idea is to have exercise equipment, racquet courts and swimming pool in with health care and medical research facilities -- the federal Human Nutrition Research Center is one of the big partners -- to "provide a unique integrated concept, all under one roof," according to Chaffee.
Work is expected to begin on the site this month.
Besides the 11 corporate sponsor/partners, 300 people and organizations also have pledged more than $14 million toward the project, Chaffee said.
Because the pledged money is coming in over years, the park board is issuing bonds to fund the construction and start-up.
The health and fitness center will operate in tandem with the Y Family Center downtown, which also will be re-named and renovated. The idea is to replace the 30-year-old Center Court and Fitness facility on 32nd Avenue South, and increase memberships -- a single membership will give access to the Y and the new fitness center -- to pay for operating costs.
"Our investment in Choice Health & Fitness is a long-term commitment to a healthier Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and surrounding area," said Wayne Zink, president of Choice Financial in Grand Forks.
Park District Director John Staley said part of the plan is to gain more sponsors to make sure any child who wants to join the clubs can.