A wellness center instead of an arena?

Last month, I wrote that Mitchell’s events center (arena) dream appeared to be headed to its grave. That was confirmed Monday, when the City Council heard a proposal to build a $15 million to $19 million wellness center in conjunction with Avera and DWU. The center would be adjacent to the existing DWU Christen Family Wellness Center and would house a pool, gym space, walking track, locker rooms and classrooms, but not an arena. (Click here to read more about it.)

It’s been a long strange trip for the events center idea, from the time the Corn Palace was deemed too small to host state tournaments in 2005 through a vote on a tax increase for a 7,000-seat arena in 2007 and now, finally, to the scrapping of the events center idea in favor of a wellness center.

I’m wondering how the public will respond to the initial plan, which includes the city coughing up $8 million to $10 million for a facility on a private college campus. The facility would be open to the public, of course, but there would be lots of students and Avera employees using it, too.

I also wonder about the location. If you live on the north side of town, it’s quite a haul to get to DWU.

From what we know so far, what do you think of the wellness center idea?

41 thoughts on “A wellness center instead of an arena?

  1. No matter where you put the facility, it is going to be “quite a haul” for some people. Goodness, Mitchell is considered a small town. Everything is within 15 minutes in the town of Mitchell. I’ve lived in cities where I traveled farther than that just to get to a grocery store. Don’t let something as small as that stop the process. We have lost oppportunities for Mitchell before because of arguements and personal agendas over the location of a facility. Please get past that. I think it is a great idea to have Avera and DWU help with the funding.

  2. How long do you think it takes to drive from the north end to DWU? I doubt that would be the big issue here.

  3. I have a negative feeling towards DWU. I can’t help but feel that they will be calling the shots, and coming out ahead. Trust just isn’t there.

  4. The fact that it’s on the south side of town and it’s a long way for those on the north side shouldn’t be that much of an issue the Rec Center is on the north side, and it’s a long way for the people on the south side of town. Was this an issue when it was built?

  5. If the City wants to shell out money,why not just remodel the Rec Center and add on? There looks to be plenty of room at that location.

  6. Here’s what I meant by my comment about the location of the proposed center: When people are going somewhere to work out, they’re usually in a hurry. I know it’s tough for me to find the time. If it takes you 15 minutes to drive to your workout place and 15 minutes to get back, that’s a half-hour out of a window of maybe only an hour that you have to work out. For the people on the north side of town, it might be an inconvenience. Or not. That’s why I asked your opinion.

  7. What a waste of money! We have a rec center already that doesnt get used that often. It seems to me that DWU and Avera are pushing for this the most, if they want it they should front the majority of the bill. What is the city going to gain with this? Nothing! If we are going to spend 10 million why not another 5 – 10 million and build the events center. At least with that option the business owners in the city will profit as well as the city! I am sick of the people of this city, they do not look to the future! In 20 years from now we will have stuck millions into that stupid bird feeder that will be falling apart! But no one sees the big picture! Most are too concerned about have to spend an extra $100 a year on their property taxes. I reality that $100 will probably spent at a fast food joint anyway! FED UP!

  8. The prime issue, I think, is the cost to the taxpayers.
    And, besides, is there a fifteen minute commute ANYWHERE in Mitchell? Must be driving in from suburban Letcher.

  9. If building some new city facility is in fact inevitable, I would prefer its management not be shared by multiple entities. Other such local sharing schemes are quite problematic at times, yet with zombie- (or events-center-) like resurgence, plans for more such arrangements keep popping up. (Remember the suggestion to combine the municipal library with that of DWU?)

  10. I like the idea and think it could be a winner depending how the city comes up with the 8-10 million. The only uneasy feeling I have comes from the fact that it is on a campus of a private institution – open to the public or not I question if it will “feel” city-owned inside.

  11. with all these negative nay-sayers let’s not do anything- it might just be something you don’t like?

  12. Before we go bailing out DWU, which is what we would be doing here, can we please think about the citizens of Mitchell. For the comment made about having a Rec Center that doesn’t get used you should be up there at 6:00 a.m. in the morning and from 3:30 p.m until about 8:00 p.m. and tell me that it doesn’t get used.

    There are alot of Center members (I am a member) who think that the existing Rec Center needs to be expanded. There are times when you have to wait 15 minutes to 1/2 hour to get on a cardio machine and have to fight for a spot in the weight room because it is so full. THAT IS A GOOD THING! It is also an indicator that we need to update facilities that the city currently has first instead of bailing out a private college.

    I’m not trying to bash DWU here but they sure seem to be the one’s coming out smelling like a rose here. What financial benefit would putting a wellness facility on a college campus do for the city.

    As it states in the paper we would have that as an adult community facility and the Rec Center would be the “kids” facility. What happens when I want to workout and my son wants to go shoot baskets. I have to drop him off drive across town and workout (assuming that one of the college teams isn’t taking up the fitness equipment) then drive back across town to pick him up. Or what if we wanted to do something together? Is that taken away now?

    Have they also considered the fact that alot of adult members really don’t want to share a fitness facility with college students especially athletes. That’s a whole different atmosphere that most adults don’t want to be around. Nothing against college students or athletes but like I said it’s just a different atomsphere that can be uncomfortable. Which entity would “really” be in charge of this facility?

    Before we just steam ahead with something just we can say we did something can we please for once include the people that this is going to affect and get their opinions. Maybe send out a survey or something. Most people aren’t going to be comfortable standing up in front of the city council at a public input meeting and voicing their concerns to people who already have their minds made up.

  13. There are several good points brought up here.
    I also have concerns about working out in a “college” atmosphere.
    And also agree more rec center space is needed, I too have had to wait in line many, many times to get a cardio machine and have skipped the weights due to crowding in the weight room.
    There is definitely a need for a larger pool in the community.
    A walking track would be fantastic.
    What about tennis facilities? 2 indoor courts would serve our community well. There is a very active tennis community in the town and having an opportunity to play through the winter would be great.

    Living in a Northern climate with long cold winters, we need to think of this as an investment in the health of the community.

    I really think the leaders in this project need to actively reach out to the community to find what is really wanted out of this project. Public input at a city council meeting is not enough. Make contact with the local organizations and ask their wishes and come up with something that the entire community can use.

  14. charlie hustles comments are my exact feelings. why dont avera and dwu help out the city and build an events center. that would benefit the restaurants, motels, grocery stores, retail stores, bars. instead we are spending money to help out dwu. STUPID

  15. such negative DWU vibes- no wonder nothing gets done around Mitchell with such a negative bunch of nay knobs like you- better go to your coffee clutch and discuss it some more- more negativity

  16. Too Bad…if you read what I said it states in there that I’m not trying to be negative towards DWU I’m trying to get the point across that DWU and the cities needs are 2 seperate things and they don’t mix well together.

  17. Thank you, ‘Good Discussion”, you have many good points. Last winter was bad. Tennis is a good sport, as is walking and swimming. How this should be handled properly is the problem. The Rec. Center has a pool (not big enough) the mall has an indoor area for walking (will do, but not really big) and Tennis benefits a wide age group.
    Throw in Basketball, weights, volleyball, etc.
    DWU is a college/university and made up of young people…….with their own agenda. Let them take care of their own. Our City Fathers need to be thinking in terms of a wide range of activities for a wide age group.
    Avera has a very nice Wellness Center. It is well run, and serves a health need for their employees, insurance paying health benefiting clients, and Sr’s.
    If the Rec. Center can be improved upon, go for it. If the public feels ownership, the public will untilize it.
    “too bad”, just because one does not agree with you, or others, does not mean they are negative. They are entitled to their opinion, just as you are, without the negative.
    Why do I not like DWU? Because it will become a college, maybe some high school, benefit. I want something freely utilzed by all.

  18. what do you propose for them? do they use these facilities or is accessability and issue with income? Building a new center should be inclusive to the community not exclusive?

  19. Low income? Maybe a sliding scale. The Y/Rec. Center has such a program. I know……..I had a friend sign up for it.
    Low Income can be worked out with the city. There should be no one unable to utilize a community program. What does the swimming pool do for those that cannot afford the summer swim program?

  20. The board of regents regected a wellness center for SDSU. The students requested a fee to be added to their credit hours to pay the cost of a wellness center they wanted. They got it aned did it themselves without the taxpayers, or regents support. College students are poorer than the poor. They borrow tens of thousands of dollars per year and are poorer than the poorest americans and still find a way to get what they wanted on their own. They student loans they will have to repay were worth it for them to stay healthy. Something to think about.

  21. Seth — Is the 5/21 10:09 am post accurate with respect to the SDSU Wellness Center being 100% financed by student fees? I certainly can understand the description of a “poor” college student but cannot accept that they are “poorer than the poorest Americans.” And besides, their fees are often paid by mom and dad and in many schools as a way to subsidize its athletic training programs.

    Poor college students eventually graduate and go on & get jobs (even in this economy) and leave their lives of poverty behind.

    All for a community-based wellness program, but I think all the stakeholders and users should be clear about how it’s financed.

  22. well shoot-em up johnny let me tell you about your college Joes- I lived in low-income aparts- so did some college students- low-income or not- student loans or not they managed to live high on the hog there- beer- pizza – all the time- pot partyies too- yep they got kicked out for partying and busted for drugs- low income ha? hardly- maybe the parents paid for their sins?? Satisfied- by the way Johnny got your gun bubba!!!

  23. For some reason college kids got draged into the picture……and all lumped together. Wow! Way to Go!
    Some get loans and are good students….graduating with big bills. Some get their help from the Mom and Pop Bank…..and manage to be responsible. Yes, there are the jokers that take life as a game. Please, tho, do not lump all our students in one class.

  24. Anybody can borrow money. I chose not to and joined the army. Poverty is a choice for many people. Dropping out of school, doing drugs, alcohol consumption, unemployment, teen pregnancy, and many other choices people make are directly responsible for a life of poverty and all are choices one can make in life. College is an investment. I know people that spend more on rims for their car than a whole year of college costs. A doctor can borrow more than a quarter million dollars over ten years. Their income is far less than the poverty level. Despite your two cents of objections, this still qualifies them as impoverished. Do they live well, some do, but that is where the 250,000 comes in. I have always said to my friends that if you want to be a millionaire, get a loan for a million dollars and bust your but to pay it off and you are there. Point is, choice can make you rich or poor, it is what the individual chooses to do. Contrary to populare belief, most wealthy people are not doctors and lawyers, they are average people that have made smart choices and lived within their means. When you invest in yourself instead of kids before you are financially perpared or rims, you will have a hard time getting ahead. Want to double your income, get another job and live within your means and invest in things that grow in value. It is not hard.

  25. oh boy a real cracker- poverty is not a choice- sound like you’re a tea bagger or better yet some kind of right-wing nut job!!

  26. Well,not a soldier boy, when does making good choices in one’s life make them a ‘right wing-nut job’? Every decision one makes leads them in a direction of their choosing. Right or wrong, it is your life, and you suffer the consequences.
    If you don’t want to study……fine, dig ditches. Want that fancy car? Get a job. The only requirement from us ‘right-wing nut jobs’ is…..don’t expect me to pay for it. Life is not free. You chart your own course.

  27. we haven’t had a real nut job since Janklow so yah go ahead soldier boy let’s see what you’re really made of – get involved run for office-

  28. What in the heck is everybody talking about here. I thought this was about the city, DWU and queen of peace joining forces on a wellness center and whether that is the right thing for the majority of Mitchell citizens. Where did poor college students and pot come into this discussion.

    Either stick to the subject or start a new one. Let’s get back to talking about the real issues here that we started with.

  29. so what is your point- red necks blog in and out- pot is everywhere- people suffer from attention deficit order from drinking dirty lake mitchell water filled with the embalmers fluids from the cemetery- then all the negative opinionated junk appears on this blog- soldier boy just has too much macho-civility in his approach- so who is the next nut case? Please step up to the key board now?

  30. re:12:27 post,
    The only NUT Case is you! Soldier Boy, my son and daughter volunteered to defend the right of freedom of speech. You abuse that right. You make me sick you conspiracy freak.

  31. fan factor and concerned member along with soldier boy ought to sit down with the mayor- have coffee and discuss their conspiracy

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