Urbana Park District approves contract for new Health and Wellness Center
The Urbana Park District Board of Commissioners approved a plan for the construction of the new Health and Wellness Center on March 28.
The project will be Urbana’s largest building project in all of its history, according to the district.
Nancy Delcomyn, a member of the board of commissioners, said the board approved the plan because the community needed a space to exercise inside and have multipurpose recreational spaces.
“There is not a lot of room for indoor activities, and we live in a climate where you need a place for winter or indoor activities,” Delcomyn said.
Delcomyn said that Urbana has relied on its partnership with the school district and the county to provide an indoor gym space, but it was now time for the city to have its own.
The board listens to residents' needs and the center was a space that the community wanted for some time, she said.
According to the district, the center will have an indoor walking track, a basketball court and children's play areas. The facility will also have a variety of fitness equipment and sports programming.
The Health and Wellness Center is meant to be an inviting place for everyone who visits, according to the park district’s website.
Jeanine Bensken, a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois who teaches fitness classes in Urbana, said she hopes that the facility ensures that people of different age groups have a space to enjoy and be active.
“A lot of the times, people go drop off their children at play areas and then stay in the car or go home,” Brensken said. “But I hope that there is a space for those parents to be active if they want to stay behind and be with their kids.”
The facility will serve people that do not have the resources to buy their own fitness equipment or are not affiliated with the university and cannot use the Activities and Recreation Center, she said.
Urbana resident and member of the Urbana City Council, Chaundra Bishop, said she supports the project because the facility will be free to use.
“When I was told that scholarships would be available to community members, I was on board,” she said.
The center is set to be completed by late 2024 in Prairie Park in Urbana.