A project that is expected to ignite a revitalization of Salina Downtown has received a million dollar donation. Salina Regional Health Center is making a million dollar donation to the Field House Salina project.
According to the hospital, the Salina Regional Health Center board of trustees approved the donation after discussing merits of the project’s ability to promote health and wellness in the community and provide affordable options for team recreation. The project also promises to make a positive impact on the local economy.
The field house project is more than simply a recreation center. Rather, it will be a multi-use facility that will house basketball courts, volleyball courts, and indoor turf areas. The $9 million facility will be built in the area of 5th and Iron, the location of the former Phoenix apartments.
The 2015 Saline County Health Needs Assessment identified childhood obesity as a leading health issue facing the community. The assessment was conducted by representatives of Salina Regional Health Center, Saline County Health Department, Central Kansas Foundation, Salina Surgical Hospital, Salina Area United Way, North Central Kansas Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging and USD 305 Salina Public Schools. Developing healthy lifestyles among youth, such as physical activity and recreation, can improve many health issues faced by society today including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health and more.
“At Salina Regional Health Center, we are committed to improving the health of our community. The field house will provide more recreational activities for our youth and help teach them the value of healthy lifestyles,” said Micheal Terry, president and chief executive officer of Salina Regional Health Center.
Funding for the $9 million field house is through a public / private partnership. The City of Salina will contribute up to $4.5 million. Supporters have raised funds for the private share.
The goal is to break ground on the project this spring, and then be open for business in the spring of 2017.
The field house is then expected to then help generate other projects, and investors. Potential projects include, but are not limited to:
- A high-end, 120-room, five-story hotel on Mulberry between Santa Fe and Fifth streets built by Salina-based Blue Beacon International.
- Two museums, including the “Wings Over Salina Aviation Experience” and an automobile museum.
- A bowling alley and indoor fun center
Plans also include narrowing Santa Fe from a four-lane street to a three-lane street. Traffic would flow in one lane in each direction, with a center turning lane. The redesign would open up more sidewalk space, thus opening up outdoor seating for downtown businesses.
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