Fitness Center adding space

BLUE EARTH – Construction is under way at Faribault County Fitness Center but services won’t change, says director Michelle Hall.

“It’s still a 24/7 club,” she said of the city-owned facility.

“All our classes, weight room, tennis, racquetball is very usable [during construction],” Hall said.

The $500,000 addition is to the east wall and has its own entryway. A door will connect it to the original building in the future.

The pre-cast concrete walls of the 70-by-70 addition are up and the roof is on, so crews from Ankeny Builders can work inside out of the cold, for the most part, Hall said.

“They are working on preparing the ground with plumbing and electrical so they can pour the cement,” she said. “We’re in the very early stages.”

The addition will house locker rooms, the office, and a cardio and weight room combo.

“Basically, what’s on our second floor will be moved to the new area,” Hall said. “We wanted to get everything [to the] ground floor. It’s more accessible.”

Accessibility and space were needed, she noted.

“The weight room was just over-crowded with equipment and people,” Hall said.

Having it on the second floor was not the best idea either. People referred for physical therapy couldn’t climb the steps to get to the machines, and Hall had to turn some away.

She expects things to run as usual at the fitness center until construction is complete around early March, when equipment will be moved and installed.

“Once the new portion is complete, we’ll move the equipment into it, that’s when we may have a delay,” Hall said. “It depends on how long it takes to move equipment from the upper level into the new portion.”

She plans to notify any members before lockers are moved so they can clean out their stuff.

Hall has big plans for the space that will be made available. Currently, the only place to have aerobic workouts is the basketball/tennis courts. The current locker rooms will be gutted and transformed into an aerobic studio.

“It’ll give us the opportunity to offer more than one aerobic class at a time,” Hall said. “People seem to like those right after work or over the noon hour.

“Our larger classes will remain on the courts because people like that extra room. With turbo kick, they have room, they feel comfortable,” Hall said. “A yoga class doesn’t need a big open area like that.”

For more information, call the fitness center at (507) 526-3376.