AMES, Iowa -- This week kicks off informational meetings on the $49 million Healthy Life Center proposed to be built in Ames. The center has been on the drawing board with various area groups since 2016.
The project is being promoted by the City of Ames, which is also closing its only indoor pool at Ames High School in 2022. Also joining on the project is Heartland Senior Center, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Iowa State University, DMACC and Story County.
The organizations promoting the project have contributed to the effort and would use the new structure to help provide services.
The project total is $49 million. So far, $20 million has been raised through the organizations promoting the project and through private donors.
“There will be a walking track, a jogging track. We'll have gymnasiums that will have courts used for a lot of different activities,” said Keith Abraham, Ames Park and Recreation director. “There will also be pickleball, badminton, volleyball, basketball, who knows what else.”
The projections call for a needed subsidy to help operate the center, so the bond issue is planning to cover the operating shortfall and also provide funding for future repairs to the center.
In letters to the editor in the Ames Tribune, some people have raised concern that the Healthy Life Center would complete against the private sector.
“The concepts are different. It’s not a competition, it’s a compliment,” said Nancy Carroll, director of Heartland Senior Services. “The concept of the Healthy Life Center mirrors with what a YMCA is trying to accomplish, when you turn no one away, and you’re going after the social economic status of the fiber of your community.”
“The whole idea of live well, be well, there’s three components to that: physical activity, health and nutrition and social connections,” said Abraham.
Here is a list of the Public Meetings to explain the Healthy Life Center.
Monday, June 10
6 p.m., Edwards School, 820 Miller Ave.
Wednesday, June 12
4 p.m., Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave.
Thursday, June 13
6 p.m., Sawyer School 4316 Ontario St.
Monday, June 17
6 p.m., Meeker School 300 20th St.
Thursday, June 20
noon, Ames High School, 1921 Ames High Drive