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Wellness Center is starting to take shape

Posted 7/11/12 (Wed)

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

The Connie Wold Wellness Center continues to ‘work out’ according to its schedule, but if you haven’t checked it out since the ground-breaking ceremony last September, you may have missed some major ‘body building.’
“This building is made to last,” states Kristin Bolken, referring not only to the building’s form, but its place in the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems (MCHS).
As far as structure goes, its shell, which consists of pre-fabricated walls from a company in Fargo, is complete. Once that was done, B & B Builders from Sidney, Mont., began toning up the center’s core.
Metal framework will ensure the building’s strength and help shape its figure, while the abundance of upstairs and downstairs windows help create an open atmosphere. And with features like the reception and coffee area, workout room and jogging track, the Amy Svihovec Room for children, locker rooms and the physical therapy area complete with two endless pools, the Wellness Center should play a key role in the health of the community and the longevity of the healthcare system.
“The Wellness Center project took on a life of its own,” states Dan Kelly, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems CEO. Through many ups and downs, the MCHS “built something that would accommodate the needs of the community.”
According to Bolken, the Healthy Heart Wellness Center’s current state mainly appeals to two of the community’s demographics: adult men and women.
“Hopefully, by moving the physical therapy offices and adding the endless pools and the jogging track, we can meet the health needs of children and the elderly,” Bolken states. “This will not only expand our demographic base, but serve more of the community, which is our ultimate goal.”
According to Bolken, the success the MCHS has had with the Connie Wold Wellness Center is huge. The positive outpouring of support in the form of funding and excitement, the ready supply of building resources and the steady progress of the builders and the fact that they have been able to stay on schedule has inspired and encouraged the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems to keep going.
“It is a difficult time to build in McKenzie County,” states Bolken. “We weren’t sure how much money we would be able to raise, or how easily and quickly a new construction could be completed.”
The success with the Wellness Center project has shown the healthcare system how much the community supports it and that building projects are feasible for them.
“This really marks a fork in the road for the MCHS,” states Bolken. “We will look back at this moment and be amazed at what transpired.”
According to Kelly, the unforeseen increase of emergency room visits, clinic and virtually all outpatient services, the healthcare system has begun looking at a project that would include addressing all of its, and the community’s needs.
“The healthcare system is seriously looking at building an apartment building which would be rented at an affordable rate to our employees,” states Kelly. Additionally, “the healthcare system has begun looking at a project which would include building new resident rooms at the Good Shepherd Home, such that those rooms would be private. This building project will also involve replacing the current clinic and hospital with new construction  that will be attached to the current nursing home, therein allowing for a complete medical campus. This will be the biggest project the healthcare system will undertake in my lifetime.”
The Wellness Center is still looking at a late November completion, so residents can count on it being available for their fall and winter exercising pleasure. Kristin Bolken can be contacted for anyone interested in scheduling a tour of the new facility.
There is still some fundraising left to do, according to Bolken, which is why the MCHS is still accepting donations.