GALLIPOLIS — Construction on the Holzer Heritage Foundation Wellness Center kicked off mid-December as foundation members anticipate the facility’s building to open its doors to the public in the summer of 2016.
The center will be located at 735 Second Avenue in Gallipolis and will make use of combined integrated programs for healthcare services including cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, health risk assessments, supervised fitness programs, occupational health and other aspects of Holzer Health System services.
“Our dream of a state-of-the-art wellness facility will become a reality sooner than originally planned,” said Linda Jefferson, a manager with the Holzer Heritage Foundation. “Contractors are working onsite removing old equipment and installing a new roof on the two older sections of the building. The project will be put out to bid for main construction by the first of the year.”
The old site of the future and anticipated wellness center once belonged to Johnson’s Supermarket. The property was donated to the foundation by Ohio Valley Supermarkets, known to operate local Foodland stores, several years ago.
According to Jim Morrison, president of Holzer Heritage Foundation, the first phase of the facility is being constructed at a cost of roughly $2 million. The project is anticipated to cost a potential $4 million upon completion. Most of the funds being used for the project have been donated. Morrison said the health system will direct much of the planned interior work of the facility as well as its management.
“This project is donation-driven and requires community support to make it a reality,” Morrison said. “The wellness center is funded through charitable donations and the efforts of the Holzer Heritage Foundation Board and seven committees with over 75 community members, all focused on raising funds for the project.”
Holzer Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and often assists in raising funds to Holzer Health System projects that would otherwise not be provided for through main hospital funding.
When asked about 100 layoffs made prior in the year in association with Holzer Health System, Morrison said he anticipated and hoped that the new facility would provide jobs and opportunities to fill some of the numbers lost as well as expanding local healthcare services.
“This is something we need in the community desperately,” Morrison said. “It’s a win for everyone. The community needs the service.”
Morrison said that much of healthcare as well as healthcare insurance is focusing on preventative medicine in light of new healthcare laws and the wellness center is part of a local effort to capitalize on that movement. He estimated the foundation needed to raise another $500,000 to make certain all unknown variables in the facility’s construction were accounted for and covered.
For more information regarding the project, call Linda Jeffers-Lester at (740) 446-5217 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.