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?