Ground is broken for new Community Wellness Center

(Above) Ground for the Community Wellness Center was officially broken Tuesday morning, Sept. 15.  Pictured are (L-R) Stacy Doughan, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce; Chad Schreck, North Iowa Corridor EDC; Seth Meyer, Dean Snyder Construction; Mark Kroemer, Atura Architecture; Doug Gee, Clear Lake Schools Superintendent; Chelsy Snyder, Dean Snyder Construction; City Administrator Scott Flory; Mayor Nelson Crabb; School Board President Chyrl Bergvig; City Council Representative Mike Callanan. - Reporter photo by Chris Barragy.

by Marianne Gasaway

A stellar example of collaboration was celebrated Tuesday morning, as ground was officially broken for the new Community Wellness Center.  The facility will adjoin Clear Lake High School on its south side.

Dirt work began last week for the 85,000 square foot facility, but a previously scheduled groundbreaking was delayed due to rain.

“This is a huge, huge thing for the school, city and all community members.  It’s a joint effort and you truly don’t see that kind of cooperation everywhere,” said School Superintendent Doug Gee.

With growing enrollment, Gee said the center will be an asset for students in the district, as well as a positive attraction for families and businesses to locate here.

“We could certainly use this now, as we are social distancing and kids are looking for places to practice and be active as we are heading into winter,” Gee added.

Mayor Nelson Crabb applauded all the parties that came together to make the wellness center a reality.

“This just doesn’t happen in many communities,” he said.  “They (the school, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce) came to the City and asked for us to participate in the centerpiece of a school bond proposal.  We build it and you operate it. The City Council and School Board approved and it got support at many community meetings and great support from the Chamber.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stacy Doughan said that organization was solidly behind the project and was pleased to be part of the ceremony “to memorialize this great accomplishment for Clear Lake.”

Voters approved an $18 million bond issue in March with 69 percent approval.  Approximately $11 million will fund the wellness center.  The City of Clear Lake will contribute $1 million using general obligation notes not to exceed $700,000 and a general fund contribution not to exceed $300,000.  At its most recent meeting, the City Council reviewed competitive quotes for the private placement of the $700,000

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