Variety set across wellness center's fitness areas


Variety will be key when it comes to workout equipment at the Seward Wellness Center.

As construction draws near, Wellness Center Executive Director Joel Brase is focused on selecting the equipment that will round out the fitness area of the new facility.

“It is a good selection that will benefit everybody,” Brase said.

In addition to the center’s pool, gymnasium, walking track and youth spaces, it will feature workout areas for cardio and weight training and a fitness studio.

The cardio area will have treadmills, full-body trainers, rowing machines and ellipticals.

Two different spaces will accommodate weightlifters. One will have machines with pin-selected weights.

Many of the machines will be ADA-compliant so people who use wheelchairs or have disabilities will have options.

The other weight area will feature benches and racks with dumbells and barbells.

“We’ve been working with a contractor that has a lot of expertise in the area, and we’re getting quotes from different companies for the equipment,” Brase said. “We’ve started narrowing down really tight what will go in this room.”

He hopes to negotiate with companies to lock in prices now and avoid further inflation, even though the equipment won’t be needed for another 18 months.

The fitness studio will be home to a full slate of classes, but Brase said the details are still in the works.

“It’s more of an open space,” he said. “It’s going to have a nice floor, made to give a little bit for a studio where people are doing all kinds of workouts,” from aerobics to spinning to yoga to kickboxing.

The studio will have TVs so classes can be led in-person or by following a video online.

Different types of classes will be scheduled throughout the day to meet the needs of all age groups.

“We’re going to make sure we’re offering everything we think our community will use,” Brase said.

Mirrors will be hung in the appropriate places so weightlifters can check their form and teachers can see what’s going on in their classes.

TVs will be available for those working out to watch sports or keep up with the news.

“It won’t be overkill, but it will be enough in the right spots,” Brase said.

Trainers will be available to assist those working out.

“Some people are going to come in and know exactly what they want to do, and others are going to come in and need a little more direction,” Brase said.

The city hasn’t determined if those trainers will be hired as city staff or if it will contract those services with other fitness businesses.

“It will be structured teachers who have done this in our area,” Brase said.



and construction

Shane Baack of Seward Changing the Game, the organization raising money for the wellness center, said the group is making progress toward the additional $3.5 million needed to break ground.

“We are about $780,000 raised so far,” Baack said. “We just had a $300,000 commitment in the last week. We’re moving in the right direction for sure.”

The organization has applied for three more grants and hopes to hear in October if they will receive them.

“Seward Changing the Game continues to do really diligent work, and there is progress in that,” Brase said.

The total cost of the building is estimated at $21.5 million, and the guaranteed maximum price is expected from the builder soon.

Bid packages for construction have been sent out, and Brase said there’s a lot of interest from subcontractors interested in working on the building.

He hopes to break ground in the next month or so.

“The timeline from them will dictate when we can do that,” Brase said.

Donations and pledges to the wellness center may be made at