Hospital set to build new fitness center

Jennie M. Melham Memorial Medical Center and the City of Broken Bow have struck a deal. On Tuesday, the city and the hospital entered into a 50-year lease agreement for operation and maintenance of the Ellen B. Marchek Tennis Center and the land that sits between the indoor center, and the outdoor courts. The hospital is going to use the land to build a fitness center. They have outgrown their current facility. There will be an access to the new facility through the tennis center, and also through an outside door. The fitness center will contain men and women’s locker rooms, and commercial grade exercise equipment. There will be two sets of fee structures, one that provides access to the tennis center and one that provides access to the tennis center, and to the fitness center. “We want to maintain the tennis center as the core, but also make a multi purpose facility,” explained JMMMC CEO Mike Steckler. “We want to fix it up, get it clean, keep it clean, and make it available for those other than the couple of old guys who play tennis,” said Steckler, who also claims to be one of those ‘old guys.’ “We’re committed to providing wellness activities for the community ... With a community of our size, without a several hundred thousand dollar campaign, we aren’t going to have a YMCA.” Steckler said the project will cost the hospital around $300,000 to build the new fitness center and to fix up the tennis center. They currently bring in around $24,000 per year in fees and when the new center is built anticipate breaking even. The lease with the city is for $100 per year. Tolstedt says the city currently spends around $8,000-10,000 to maintain the facility, including insurance, and not including staff time. The terms of the lease would put this responsibility onto the hospital. The city would have no financial responsibility other than normal mowing and snow removal. “I think this is a great opportunity to move this building forward,” said Broken Bow City Council President Scott Spanel at Tuesday’s Council meeting. “I think this is great for everyone. The new center would be around 4,320 square feet in size, and the improvement project to the tennis center includes adding basketball hoops, making the center net removable, climate control and new lighting. Other agenda items included: • Approving a pay request from Carrouthers Construction for $450,412 for work completed to date at the Aquatic Facility. • Saying yes to Resolution 12-01 which provides for a partial plat vacation in Hillcrest/Woodcrest subdivision. • Awarding the bid for installation of Wayside Horns on South 9th and South 10th Avenues for $118,136 to CTC, approximately half the amount the council thought it would be when the project was first started.