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The Geyser

The Geyser

Wellness center funding passes, clearing the way for construction this summer

Livingston voters approved operational funding for the proposed 4 Ranges Wellness Center, clearing the way for construction to begin this summer. According to the 4 Ranges website, membership will be free to all city residents, renters or homeowners. Tax per household increase averages $12.67/month and according to the 4 Ranges website 84% of Park County residents support a moderate tax raise to fund the facility.
Official election results were 2,064 votes in favor and 1,238 against. This caused debates and controversy as some people wouldn’t want to have their taxes raised.
Donations such as $10 million from billionaire Arthur M. Blank and $5 million from the Kendeda fund raised enough money to fund construction of the center, but funding to operate it will come primarily from the tax district within city limits. The building process should begin over the summer of 2024.
Park High students interviewed were supportive of the new wellness center and what it will offer the community. Senior Tyler Grenier thinks the new center will promote numbers in sports as well as improve the sports program at Park high. Senior Silas Hjorstberg stated that “the wellness center could eventually lead to the creation of a swim team here at Park High” because it will include several indoor pools, which Livingston currently lacks.
The new center should be nearly 50,000 sq.ft including a recreational pool and separate lap pool, a double gym, a running track, lockers, offices and a community room. It will be built on the north side of town at the location of the current Katie Bonnell park.
Some of the Park High staff also enjoy the Idea. Social Studies teacher Bryan Beitel “likes the idea” but wishes it was built at a different site than the proposed one. Beitel works out and enjoys the idea of being able to run indoors during the winter as he usually runs over the summer.
Along the same lines, English teacher Kelly Dick mentioned that he was “pro wellness” and hopes the community lives healthy lives. Dick mentioned he would use it infrequently because of the fact that he is part of a private health club in town.
Coach Ben Hahn stated that “as a parent of a young child, I love the idea for my kid”. He also mentioned that he lives close to the planned building location and that he sees his son riding his bike there to go swimming. Hahn said that it would be a good thing to develop intramural sports and that he wants kids and families to have a good time.
All three of the teachers understand the community’s concern about the tax increase but believe it will be a good development for the wellbeing of our community.

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