Wellness Center slated for vote March 3

by Marianne Gasaway

A proposed community wellness center will appear on a local ballot March 3, 2020, according to Clear Lake school and city leaders.

School Superintendent Doug Gee, City Administrator Scott Flory and Mayor Nelson Crabb said Monday that community meetings and a survey have yielded a good measure of public support for a joint project.  They are now willing to proceed with plans for a facility, which could be developed in phases at Clear Lake High School.

“We closed our survey last week and feel we got a good sampling.  Seventy-two percent of those responding (742) said they would use a wellness facility,” said Gee.

The list of “wants” most listed by those attending the public meetings and completing the survey included: an indoor run/walk track, gymnasium space, a pool, weight room or cardio space, multi-use activity space, and child care availability for patrons of the center.

Although an indoor swimming pool was favored by a majority of those responding to the survey, only 48 percent said they would be willing to support an increase in their tax rate to include a pool in the facility.

With that in mind, a “phased in” approach to construction will be pursued.

“We want to build something that meets community needs now, but also wouldn’t eliminate a pool down the road,” they said.

Gee noted that the school district approached the city with a wellness center idea based primarily on the fact that it needed more gymnasium and training space for its sports teams and other groups.  The idea was well received by city leaders, who believe the community is overdue for such a facility.

“Clear Lake is a tremendous community in the summer, with a lot of outdoor recreation, but we struggle a little bit providing families, youngsters and seniors with space for activities from Thanksgiving to April,” said Flory.

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