“Impressive” was the response of the one media representative when he first set eyes on the new CCM Wellness Center. On Tuesday, CCM Health invited local and area media on a preview tour of the new facility, which officially opened its doors to the public yesterday morning (Wednesday) at 7 a.m.

“Impressive” was the response of the one media representative when he first set eyes on the new CCM Wellness Center. On Tuesday, CCM Health invited local and area media on a preview tour of the new facility, which officially opened its doors to the public yesterday morning (Wednesday) at 7 a.m.

The facility is indeed impressive, looking like an upscale fitness facility that would be found in large metropolitan areas. Approximately 35,000 square feet in total, the CCM Wellness Center includes 19,000 square feet of total workout space (including locker rooms), a 3,000 square foot conference area, a 2,000 square foot Kids Zone indoor playground, and 5,000 square feet which will be utilized as CCM Health Hospital office space.

Plans to purchase the former Coborn’s grocery building and turn it into a state-of-the-art fitness center began a little over a year and a half ago, with renovation beginning last fall. Needless to say, the building no longer looks like a grocery store!

Brian Lovdahl, CEO for CCM Health, said: “We are very grateful to the 20 local vendors who worked with us on this project. $1.48 million was spent with those local businesses, and we are very pleased to have worked with them.”

The CCM Wellness Center features a number of fitness areas which cater to beginners and experts alike. These areas include: a cardio area, a strength area, a walking track (12 laps equals one mile), the Kids Zone indoor playground, a community space, a basketball/pickleball court, a racquetball/wallyball court, a group fitness studio, and a child care drop-off site.

“Because of COVID-19,” said Lovdahl, “we do have some services, such as the Kids Zone playground, child care drop-off, and saunas which are not available at this time.” Both the men’s and women’s locker rooms feature bathrooms, resting areas, showers, saunas, and lockers. “The lockers are for daily use only; we don’t want people leaving their things overnight,” said Lovdahl.

Scott Sekelksy, Interim Wellness Center and Community Health Director for the CCM Health Wellness Center, spoke of the user-friendly workout machines in the main workout area. He said: “One thing which we did that was very purposeful is that most of the equipment in this area uses the same touch screen programming. Once you learn a screen, it is easy to use the other equipment. Our equipment is very user-friendly.”

Also in the main workout area is a turf strip, which offers different types of training opportunities. “We also have areas of rubber flooring which is not only for the safety of people, but also for equipment safety and noise reduction,” said Lovdahl.

Lovdahl turned to point out an interesting fitness station. “That machine,” he said, “is the Synergy 360. It has 150 different exercises which can be done on it!”

The designers of the building took care to create spaces where people would feel welcomed and comfortable. Lovdahl said: “When we designed the building, we wanted to create an atmosphere where everyone could feel comfortable, not matter what their skill level, so everyone could get a good workout.”

The CCM Wellness Center was originally scheduled to open on April 1, but the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions put those plans on hold. “We were pleasantly surprised last Friday when Governor Walz lifted restrictions on gyms, so here we are!”

That being said, CCM Health is taking precautions and following all guidelines set forth by Governor Walz for the cleaning and disinfecting of equipment. “Members are asked to wipe down equipment before and after use,” said Lovdahl, “and employees will further disinfect all equipment.”

Social distance guidelines are expected to be followed, with members staying six feet apart. All equipment has also been placed six feet apart. There are other restrictions which will be explained to members.

Memberships are quite affordable, beginning at $45 a month for individuals, or $500 a year if paid in full. In addition, there are special rates for couples, families, seniors, and students. Also, daily passes are available.

Discounted membership rates are available for those who meet verifiable income requirements. The CCM Wellness Center also partners with health insurance reimbursement programs through several insurance providers.

“This facility has turned out to be absolutely wonderful,” said Lovdahl. “With the help of our local vendors, we have a facility which will positively affect community health for years to come!”