Citizens of Woodbine, in Harrison County, came out in full force Wednesday evening, to learn more about a proposed Wellness Center. About 75 residents attending the meeting held in the Woodbine High School gymnasium, heard from JEO Engineering, with regard to determining the next steps needed for the proposed $8.2 million project.
Plans for the Woodbine Wellness Center began two years ago with listening sessions from volunteers and supporters followed by a feasibility study, site tours and gathering data. Deb Sprecker, program director for Woodbine Main Street, said the next steps for the project involve gaining community awareness, along with applying for grants, and fundraising. JEO Engineering consultant Lucas Billesbach said the firm took a look at several wellness centers in the area, including Red Oak and Ida Grove, to get an idea of what the community the size of Woodbine would need. He estimated the square footage needed for the center would be 40,000.
The feasibility study estimated the Woodbine Wellness Center could grab members from the city of Woodbine and within a seven-mile radius of the city limits. The conceptual design shown at the meeting Wednesday night included a gymnasium, community center, lockers, and indoor pool, along with a workout center on the 2nd floor. Billesbach said in the first year the wellness center would see close to 330 members. He said the expected revenue from yearly memberships would be approximately $210,000. Other revenue streams would bring in another $155,000, with a total expected revenue of approximately $364,000.
Along with the fundraising of $8.4 million for the actual building, Billesbach said the community would need another $4 million for the endowment fund. He said the fund “Is not a game changer, but it is a critical avenue,” that would allow for the maintenance of the building so taxpayers don’t have that added burden. The Woodbine Wellness Center Community has already had $1.2 million donated for the project, along with the land for the facility, from a private donor.