Then-sophomore Audrey Kern instructs a Zumba class in State Gym on Sept. 20, 2018. Zumba is offered at State Gym on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Times vary.

September 10th is coming soon. That is the day to vote YES for a once-in-a-life-time opportunity – the Healthy Life Center.

Why do we need it? Why now?

The 50-year-old municipal pool at the high school has more than lived its life and has required an annual $100,000 of city and school tax dollars. It will be demolished. That leaves nine months a year with no facility for swim lessons or warm water exercise. 

Heartland Senior Center occupies a building that was retired as an elementary school in 1952. Since then numbers of seniors have grown as we have all aged and Ames has become an increasing magnet attracting retired persons. And the nationwide trend is not to isolate seniors in separate facilities.

The city gym, rehabilitated from its days used as Central Junior High, can no longer serve all who want to play basketball, pickle ball, volleyball, square dance or take Zumba classes.

Mary Greeley’s therapy pool is no longer adequate for cardiac or physical rehabilitation patients.

Meeting rooms for lectures, birthday parties or presentations are in very short supply.

Parents searching for an indoor playground for their children must go out of town.

The needs for a Healthy Life Center are urgent. And ISU has made 10 acres of land available knowing it will be used as a site for internships for students in its many growing curriculums.

If a Healthy Life Center vote should not pass, these community needs don’t go away. With much greater expense, each individual entity would need to build or add on separately. The $5.5 million in philanthropic pledges would not be realized. More land would be taken off the tax roles. And other needs would simply go for more decades without being filled.

Please don’t pass up this now-or-never opportunity.

Ann Campbell, Ames

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