Official dedication ceremony set for Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.
John Badman | The Telegraph
ALTON — There haven’t been any clients in the Wellness Center at Senior Services Plus in Alton for a few days, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been busy.
In fact, a lot of people have been working hard to get the brand-new, 10,000-square-foot center ready for business when it has a “soft” opening at 5 a.m. Monday.
A formal grand opening/dedication ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4.
The new Wellness Center is a major improvement over the old facility, according to Jonathan Becker, CEO of Senior Services Plus.
“We took possession of the building last week,” he said Thursday.
The center shut down Wednesday so existing equipment could be moved, and a lot of new equipment could be brought in and assembled.
“We’re really excited,” he said. “We kept the best of what we had. We’re going from 54 pieces to more than 70.”
The new $2.2 million facility includes a weight/walking track area, and a separate dividable classroom more than twice the size of the previous classroom space.
In addition to new weight equipment, Becker said they are adding “a bunch of new classes.”
He said they would be offering 17 different types of classes with more than 60 separate sessions each week.
The original plans called for a $3.6 million, 16,000-square-foot center including a pool and elevated track, but the scope of the project was cut down to make it more manageable. Becker said that although it does not include a pool they are working on a second phase that will includes some kind of “aquatic center.”
He said the Wellness Center has about 1,300 members, who participate in everything from weight training to kick-boxing and yoga classes.
“A lot of what we do is to maintain functional fitness,” he said. “We have a lot of folks who come in who might have been in a wheelchair, or had stroke, or had a heart attack.”
He used himself as an example.
“My grandkids were here this weekend and we went to the City Museum,” he said. “Along with everybody else I’m crawling through the tunnels, doing stuff, jumping around. I’m not going to skateboard, but I can do everything with them, and they’re 3 and 2.”
Membership is $150 annually for those 55 and older, and $200 for under 55. There is also on-site physical therapy and one-on-one personal training available at additional costs.
He also said there was more to it that just physical fitness.
“It’s not just a gym, it’s a place where you’re going to get help, support and guidance,” he said, adding for some it also provides a place for social interaction.
For more information call 618-465-3298, ext. 120 or visit www.seniorservicesplus.org.
Reach reporter Scott Cousins at 618-208-6447.