It’s a race to the finish for new MVCC fitness center

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne

  The new Moraine Valley Community College Health Education and Wellness Center is expected to open in March but it might be a race to the finish to make that happen.
  In the 12 weeks leading up to the opening of the HEWC, college officials are still looking for a health care partner to occupy a portion of the facility. During the December board meeting Wednesday, the college’s board of trustees met privately to reevaluate the cost to lease college property.
  Although a health care partner has yet to be found, the college is expected to stick to the March deadline.
  “We are really pushing the job, and we’re about 84 percent done,” construction manager Rich Martinez said. “We should have the job completed in 12 weeks, and we have crews working around the clock to get the job finished on time.”
  Replacing Moraine Valley’s old health center has been on the to-do list since 1986. In October 2011, the college approved the building of a new $35 million health, education and fitness center.
  The contact for the new building was awarded to Power Construction.
  During the planning process, Moraine officials completed a market analysis to come up with a fair and competitive price based on the membership fees of similar facilities. The center is free for full-time students taking a minimum of 11 credit hours.
  “We want to market the new Health Education and Wellness Center to the community and especially the students,” said Mike Schneider, director of campus relations. “We completed a market analysis to come up with competitive pricing that is lower than that of competitive health centers in the area, and we will offer various discounts for part-time students, faculty and staff.”
  Monthly fees are $48 for part-time students, $26 for college employees, $34 for seniors or military and $49 for community members. The college has provided incentives for early enrollment and plans to offer aerobics and other fitness classes.
  In an effort to provide Moraine students with work experience, the college has hired and trained most of its 100 student staff members.
  “Since we believe in developing students for the professional world, we will have beyond 100 fully trained student employees who will be the face of the facility,” Schneider said.