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OUR VIEW: City should pursue new wellness and pool structure

We envision a time in the not-too-distant future when Mitchell has a new wellness center, available for all to use.

Too many entities are interested for it to not be so.

Just Monday, the Mitchell City Council once again discussed the possibilities of a new wellness center, potentially as the result of a partnership between the city and Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. Too, Dakota Wesleyan University has discussed the idea and also has mentioned a possible partnership between it and the city.

So far, we don’t really know where we stand on the potential partnerships, nor do we know how the funds will be raised to build a wellness center. We might have preferred a wellness center be built in advance of, for instance, the library expansion and renovation in Mitchell, but that project already is under way. An addition to the city ice arena was recently finished, and plans to renovate the Corn Palace, to vacate the attached City Hall and convert it to tourism-themed exhibit space, and to build a new city hall are progressing and already have public funding.

All of that could make it difficult for the city to find funding for a wellness center.

We do know, however, that Mitchell has a need for an indoor swimming pool. Now that a second sheet of ice has been constructed in Mitchell, an indoor pool, of competition size, should be moved toward the top of the list.

Many children are involved in local swimming, and many non-competitive swimmers of all ages would be able to take advantage of a new pool. The only option at present is the pool at the Mitchell Recreation Center, which is not competition-size.

A new fitness facility also is needed. The city’s Recreation Center has served that purpose, but it is outdated.

The lack of an appropriately sized indoor pool and a modern fitness center are glaring holes in the image of growth and modernity that this community’s leaders present to the outside world. We need leadership and action on these items.