February 27, 2013

Center opens to rave reviews

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

“Unbelievable!” Absolutely lovely!” “Beyond my wildest expectations!
Those are just a few of the highly positive comments heard as members flooded through the doors to experience the new Connie Wold Wellness Center following its official opening on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
And those most fitting adjectives of the new wellness center had Tricia Sundeen, wellness center manager, smiling from ear to ear. But then Sundeen has been smiling ever since the decision was made by the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems board of directors over two years ago to build the new facility.
“The response to the new wellness center has been overwhelming,” states Sundeen. “We had 127 people working out the first day it opened. And the number of people who are coming in every day to join is amazing.”
According to Sundeen, in the former Healthy Hearts Wellness Center, it was common to have 90 people a day working out. So to see nearly a 30 percent jump in usage in the first two days of the new facility’s opening proves to her just how much people wanted a quality workout center.
“This place is wonderful,” stated John Peterson Sr. who moved to Watford City from Union Grove, Wisc.,  two weeks ago to become a truck driver for Hamm Phillips.
“I couldn’t wait to join the new wellness center,” stated Peterson, “It’s going to change my life and help me get back into shape. I need to work out here. My goal is to knock off 75 pounds.”
While Peterson is a new member, some former members of the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center were impressed with the new facility’s new equipment, the open workout rooms, as well as the ability to have 24 hour/seven-day-a-week access for exercise.
“I love the new facility,” stated William Uranker, who was lifting weights with Brian Humbracht, an  Elgin, Ill., native who came to this now bustling oil community a year ago to work for Drop Time Producers where he monitors salt water sites.
“The two of us work out five to six days a week,” stated Humbracht. “We worked out at the old facility, but this is so much better. Plus being able to work out 24/7 is great.”
At a cost of nearly $5.5 million to construct, the 20,000 sq. ft. community fitness facility is an impressive facility both outside and inside.
According to Sundeen, the Connie Wold Wellness Center, which will have 24-hour limited access, and offers a large and open area for cardio and strength training, a walking/running track, two therapy/endless pools, an aerobics classroom, a spinning bike classroom, a free weight station, expanded locker rooms, outpatient physical therapy, as well as a beverage bar and seating area. In addition, the new facility features a special area, Amy’s Room, for young children to entertain themselves while their parents work out.
And it is the new look and plenty of exercise equipment this is so appealing to new and old members.
“I tried out the old wellness center, but I quit because it was too small and crowded,” stated Diana Carrillo, who works in the Human Resources Dept. at MBI, a local oilfield trucking company. “Like everyone at work, we were counting down the days until this new facility opened. I joined the first day.”
For Carrillo, who is originally from Rigby, Idaho, the new wellness center, as well as all of the other improvements that she is seeing in Watford City is making it easier for her to call the community ‘home.’
While Carrillo is impressed with the new wellness center, she, along with several other members, is concerned about how the facility is going to be treated.
“I love it here,” stated Carrillo. “I hope everyone takes care of it. It would be a shame if it got vandalized and they couldn’t keep it open 24 hours a day.”
Like Carrillo, Jessica Baker gave up on the old facility because it was too small. But she was willing to give the new facility a try and has been more than impressed.
“I love this place,” stated Baker, who moved to Watford City from Bozeman, Mont., with her boyfriend who is a welder. “It’s got lots of weights and treadmills so everyone can work out. Plus with this facility being open 24 hours a day, I can see my boyfriend coming in at midnight to work out.”
And as those positive comments keep flowing in, Sundeen just keeps smiling.