Committee selects site for Green Bank Wellness Center
After months of planning and research, members of the Green Bank Wellness Center committee selected a site for the center at a brainstorming meeting January 18.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory site director Karen OﾒNeil reported that she and business manager Mike Holstine narrowed down the site possibilities to three locations ﾖ near the Green Bank senior center, NRAO land near Green Bank Elementary-Middle School and land surrounding the NRAO swimming pool.
OﾒNeil said the NRAO swimming pool area could be a good option because the center could start out with a pool.
ﾓThere is theﾠ possibility of taking over right next to the swimming pool at the rec area and covering the pool, and building on to it,ﾔ OﾒNeil said. ﾓIt has great advantages because we would have a pool right away, but the reality is, if we cover that pool, weﾒll have to replace it within 10 years.ﾔ
As the group discussed the three sites, the majority liked the option of being near the school, which would allow students and parents to have easy access to the facility.
Although a pool would be put on the back burner for the time being, the group selected the site near the school as the best location for the wellness center. The site will be located near the basketball and tennis courts behind GBEMS.
Until plans for the building begin, the group also agreed to select a temporary site to offer classes and use of gym equipment.
OﾒNeil said she asked the former administration at GBEMS for use of the annex building as a temporary site. Rachel Taylor added that she discussed the site with Superintendent C.C. Lester and former GBEMS principal Ruth Bland, both of whom said it would be okay for the wellness center to use the building.
The group agreed to approach the board of education at the February 13 meeting to get permission to move into the annex building and use it as a temporary site.
Several committee members visited existing sites in surrounding counties to gather information on how to sustain a wellness center and what the start-up costs were.
Alesia Wayne reported that she and her husband, John, visited the Hardy County Health and Wellness Center in Moorefield. She said the center has a swimming pool, cardio room, massage therapy room and aerobic studio. The center is owned and subsidized by Grant Memorial Hospital.
The Waynes also visited the bowling alley in Franklin, which is more of a rec center with bowling, a roller rink and restaurant.
Taylor said she visited the Belington Wellness Center, which received grants from the Benedum Foundation and personal donors. She said the cost to build the center 16 years ago was between $150,000 ﾖ $175,000. The facility is insured by the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management.
Mike Stennes said he discussed the possibility of becoming a branch of the YMCA with a representative from the Randolph County facility. He said if the committee decides to be a branch of the YMCA, all employees would be under employment of the YMCA and the Randolph County facility would manage the center.
Stennes said the downside of partnering with the YMCA would be if the center does not succeed, the YMCA could choose to close the facility, leaving the community back at square one. He said if the committee is still interested in partnering with the YMCA, he would ask Randolph County Executive Director Sid Gillispie to attend a meeting to discuss the plan further.