January 23, 2013

It’s almost time to work out

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

The McKenzie County Healthcare Systems new Connie Wold Wellness Center is nothing short of impressive. Modeled after concepts found in metropolitan workout facilities and equipped with cutting edge features, this building rivals those of larger cities. And it is almost ready to receive visitors.
Initially, the Connie Wold Wellness Center was scheduled to open at the end of November, 2012. However, some construction delays prolonged that process and MCHS and the wellness center management is excited to announce that they are on the cusp of an official opening.
The new wellness center has a state-of-the-art jogging track, spin room, aerobic room, two endless pools, floor space for weight training machines and free-weights, as well as cardio machines, a coffee counter and an area for patrons to sit and enjoy their cup of Joe.
While most of these features have one or two items left to be finished or tweaked, according to Bolken, one aspect of the Connie Wold Wellness Center, Amy’s Room, is totally done.
Amy’s Room is the space that was dedicated to Amy Svihovec, who lost her life two years ago in a car accident. Amy spent her senior year working for the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center and one of the things she did was watch children while their mothers worked out.
In honor of the great care Amy gave to the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center and the children she cared for, Amy’s Room was designed with only children in mind, according to Kristin Bolken, of the MCHS.
Amy’s Room is a Mickey Mouse-themed room that features a flat screen smart TV, two iPad stations, a 3-D Cheese Clubhouse, a shoe holder and coat hook, play accessories, activity mats, a frog and mouse chair, and zigzag steps and a webbed apparatus for kids to climb on.
“All of these pieces are sturdy enough to withstand children playing with and on them,” Bolken states. “Kids can really move around and be active in this room.”
According to Bolken, the whole purpose of Amy’s Room was to entertain children for the hour or so that they will spend in the room. The equipment for Amy’s Room was purchased from Atomic Playgrounds. It is made of vinyl and Bolken states will be cleaned daily to withstand the spread of germs.
No shoes will be allowed in Amy’s Room, along with gum, food and beverages, to help keep the room looking nice. Bolken states that Amy’s Room is 17 feet by 12 feet and will be restricted to play for children under 3½ feet tall.
But the completion of Amy’s Room is only the start of a discussion regarding the policies that will govern how Amy’s Room, and other wellness center components, run.
According to Bolken, there are facets of the new wellness center that have to be addressed. Some are in the process of being addressed and some will be addressed as the wellness center become operational.
“As of right now, there is no charge for Amy’s Room. It is an unattended room that will be made available to the children of parents who are using the facility,” Bolken states. “We will be looking at partnering with other community civic groups and possibly the VOE program to help staff Amy’s Room. But there is nothing set up at this time.”
While there are still unknowns concerning policy and work yet to be completed, Bolken and the wellness center management are looking at opening the facility in mid-February.
“It all depends on when the new equipment is delivered,” states Bolken. “We will plan for the move to occur when the new equipment arrives, which will either be the end of January or the first week of February.”
Once that date is scheduled, Bolken states that the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center will have to close from one to two weeks to move everything and to get the new building set up.
“I am hoping the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center will only have to close for a week, but it is still up in the air at this point.”
Whenever that date is officially set, Bolken states the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center will clearly post its closing dates as well as the starting date for the Connie Wold Wellness Center.