Informational session proposing Healthy Life Center

Sage Smith

An informational session to share information about the Healthy Life Center was given by Nancy Caroll, Heartland executive director, on August 22 in the Memorial Union. Ames residents will cast their votes in the Ames Bond Referendum Vote on September 10 to decide if the project will officially launch and be completed in 2022 or 2023.

The city of Ames, Story County, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Heartland Senior Services, Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State University began to meet together. Through conversations starting in 2016 the entities thought up the Healthy Life Center idea.

“We work together on other topics,” Caroll said. “We each talked about our individual needs and realized there is a way to collaborate.”

The Healthy Life Center purpose statement focuses on making “the life-long goal of healthy living accessible and enjoyable to people of all ages and socio-economic status.”

“An important point that really is a differentiating factor within this proposal is two things: the health and nutrition piece and social networking,” Caroll said. “The health and nutrition is critical in addition to the physical opportunities.”

Part of the Healthy Life Center proposal is to put equal emphasis on physical health as well as nutrition.

If the vote passes the center will have multiple areas that allow people to enjoy company and invest in each others lives. An atrium will be open daily with no charge. There will be multiple social gathering spaces with an outdoor patio. Public wi-fi will be available and a cafe will serve healthy food and beverages.

The center will also be equipped with warm-water aquatics for recreational purposes. There will also be a warm-water wellness pool for aqua-exercise classes, swim classes and more which takes care of the need for an indoor pool as the Ames Municipal indoor pool is set to be demolished in 2022.

There will be dedicated areas for Heartland and Mary Greeley to conduct faculty research and continue services such as physical therapy. A participation kitchen will play a role in the health and nutrition side of the center as it will be a place for cooking classes and consultations with registered dietitians.

Iowa State students can be involved with the center by working at it. It would be a resource to the students as they can experience hands on learning by participating in research and observation at the center.

Three final public informational meetings on the Healthy Life Center are scheduled before voting. The meetings will be held at the Ames Public Library on August 28, 29 and September 4.