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Wellness Center still running toward finish line

Posted 2/22/12 (Wed)

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

The Healthy Hearts Wellness Center has recently received a face-lift. But it by no means has or will take away from the Connie Wold Wellness Center, scheduled for completion in November.
“Our equipment is 18 years old and has well exceeded its lifespan,” states Tricia Sundeen, manager of the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center.
When the Wellness Center was only receiving an average of under 10 visits per day, the aging equipment could handle the use. Now, however, the Wellness Center averages 50 to 70 visits a day, which can take a toll on equipment that has already outlived its life expectancy.
“We needed to sustain our equipment until the new facility opened,” Sundeen states, which is why part of the money that has been set aside to purchase equipment for the new building was used to replace the Wellness Center’s old machines.
“The newly purchased equipment is still for the Connie Wold Wellness Center,” states Sundeen. “Once the building is up and running, the equipment we just purchased will be moved to the new location.”
And, according to Sundeen and Kristin Bolken, director of the Benefit Fund of McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, construction of the new wellness center is still going according to plan.
“A lot of work is currently being done off-site,” states Bolken. Work that includes pre-cast concrete walls currently being poured and set in Grand Forks, N.D.
“The walls could arrive as early as next week, but they should definitely be here in a month,” states Bolken.
Anyone who drives by the site of the new wellness center will see that dirt has been moved and foundation has been laid. There is also a sample wall piece on site for anyone who wants an idea of what the new building will look like.
In addition to off-location construction, Bolken and other members of the Wellness Center board have been busy raising the rest of the funds needed for the Connie Wold Wellness Center project.
When MCHS broke ground for the Connie Wold Wellness Center in November, over $800,000 still needed to be raised.
“As of this month, we have $495,000 left to reach our goal,” Bolken states. “We have really made significant progress this winter, but we still need leadership gifts and companies who will commit to investing in the project.”
Bolken says the new wellness center will be a project that not only benefits Watford City and McKenzie County residents, but everyone living and working in the area, as it provides people with a healthy outlet.
According to Bolken, the Connie Wold Wellness Center is proceeding according to plan and should open around Thanksgiving.
“Once the walls go up, a lot of construction will be weather dependent,” states Bolken. “But people should really start to see the building take shape in the coming months.”