A new workout center may be just on the horizon, according to Suzie Reuther, a member of the Hettinger City Council. For months, the City of Hettinger has been working with West River Health Services and Hettinger Public School to create a new wellness center/gym in the Hettinger Armory. Reuther said she hopes to have the new wellness center up and running by Dec. 1.
Reuther said the city took on the project after completing a 2015 feasibility study. The study found that a majority of locals want more recreational opportunities in town. Although Hettinger already has a wellness center, the City wanted to create a high quality area that had workout equipment in a more accessible setting.
“People that work at the hospital’s fitness center feel like they have so many complaints because nobody can use their equipment because of the stairs,” she said.“[The Armory Fitness Center] should be easy to get access to.”
The new gym located in the L room of the Armory has made considerable progress. New carpet was laid and an intermediate wall was removed to create more space. The City also installed a new key fob system to both the front and back doors of the Armory for easy entry.
Along with renovations, the city has already purchased the new equipment for the center. Using sales tax funds, the City purchased two new elliptical machines, a new NuStep machine, and a new treadmill. Once finished, the center will have a combination of new machines and used, donated machines.
“When all is said and done, we should have three ellipticals, three treadmills, a NuStep, a stationary bike, and free weights” said Reuther.
Moving forward, Reuther said the City still has many logistics to work out at the next city council meeting. There, the City will vote on the rules, conditions, and details for the wellness center. Although nothing has been formally decided, Reuther said that the City is currently working with Personal Trainer Keith Jackson to move his business to the new center.
The City also plans to work out details for membership and pricing at next week’s meeting. Reuther said that after researching other wellness centers pricings in the area, she plans to suggest a $45 a month fee for use of the new facility while offering deals for longer-term commitments to the center, however nothing is yet set in stone.
Reuther said she is hopeful that, with memberships, the new fitness center will provide a source of income for the Armory.
“We need to generate some form of income to keep the building up, because the Armory does not have any type of separate account, so it all comes out of our general fund,” said Reuther. “So everything that we pay for, whether that be electricity or upkeep, either we have to put aside certain tax dollars to help it or we just take it out of our general fund. We are just trying to build things that make [the Armory] become self-efficient.”
Moving forward, the City is hoping to raise an additional $40,000 for the wellness center, however Reuther said that opening of the wellness center is not conditional upon reaching that goal. The money would be used for amenities like automatic lights, air conditioning units, and showers. Reuther said that she is determined to have the new center open by Dec. 1.
“This is going to start December first no matter what we have for funding,” said Reuther. “It will be ready to go, but it just won’t have A/C or automatic lights.”
Ultimately, Reuther said that she is looking forward to making the Armory Fitness Center a reality.
“I look forward to helping the community because this is what we have been told that people really would like to see and want.”