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Road to Wellness

  • Written by Laura Bollin

Construction of Moraine Valley’s 2X COLOR moraine 4colThe Health Education and Wellness Center at Moraine Valley Community College rises from the ground on the west side of the school’s campus in Palos Hills. Work on the $34.5 million, 126,000-square-foot structure began last December on land between the college’s new outdoor basketball and tennis courts and its police. The anticipated opening is next February. Photo by Jason Maholynewest facility moving right along

  The health, wellness and fitness center under construction at Moraine Valley Community College will upon its completion next year be the largest building on the school’s campus in Palos Hills.

  The $34.5 million Moraine Valley Health Education and Wellness Center will be 113,360 square feet and provide a place for students and patrons to exercise and learn, said Moraine coordinator of college and community relations Jessica Crotty. The center will replace the college’s 40,768-square-foot fitness center housed in Building G.
  “The new center is extremely large compared to what we are using,” Crotty said. “It is going to be a wonderful facility. Students will have up to date facilities. Athletes will have their own locker rooms, training rooms, and athletic offices, all in one place. We will also have exercise classes, a yoga studio, spinning studio, four dance studios, aerobics classes, a four-lane lap pool, three basketball courts, and new free weights and machines.”
  Construction that began in December is being funded by a $30.9 million bond issue, and $3.6 million will be raised through a construction infrastructure fee of $8 per credit hour for students and donations from area businesses. The remainder of the cost will come from membership fees of $59 per person per month, $89 per couple per month, and $119 per family per month. Full-time students will have full access to the center, and part-time students will pay a fee based on a sliding scale that could include buy-up options for full access.
  Moraine’s fitness management and recreation therapy programs will be housed at the center, and students enrolled in those degree programs will be able to use the equipment at the center.
  The college has received a $250,000 donation from the Chicago Blackhawks, and the organization will have naming rights to the new fitness center. Moraine Valley board of trustees President Sandra Wagner said the college is working to secure more corporate sponsorships for the building. The college is working with MetroSouth Medical Center, and plans to lease a portion of the building to it for medical and rehabilitation facilities.

  “The MetroSouth portion will provide training and care for our athletes,” Wagner said. “This center will provide so much for students and the community. People want to stand in line to be first here. We will have exercise rooms and space for meditation, all the different interests in fitness that come up. Fitness is a changing, evolving world.”
  Moraine spokesperson Mark Horstmeyer said the MetroSouth partnership could provide a walk-in clinic or physical therapy treatments at the center.
  Students in Moraine’s athletic training programs will work at the center, Wagner said.

  “The training program is an evolving program, and students would have significant input and employment possibilities,” Wagner said. “They will be working the desk and managing the programming. Wherever students are employable, I’m sure that will be the first labor source.”
  Internships with corporate partners are also a possibility, Horstmeyer said.
  “A lot of internships and work opportunities will be available for our students when the center opens,” he said. “It’ll be work related to the running of a fitness center, and we might have some fitness training internships here. We are always looking to give our students as much experience as possible.”

2X COLOR moraine1 4colConstruction of Moraine Valley Community College’s $34.5 million Health Education and Wellness Center began in December.