Breaking News! Humboldt to have new wellness center thanks to generosity of the Ken and Marilyn Nielsen family

This is the site of the new wellness center to be built in Humboldt. Located on Wildcat Road, it is directly north of Humboldt High School.

Thanks to the generosity of the Ken and Marilyn Nielsen family, Humboldt will soon have a new 60,000 square foot wellness center.
The wellness center will be built on about five acres just north of Humboldt High School along Wildcat Road.
In a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Humboldt City Council said they would accept the donation and provide the infrastructure (sewer, water and road) to serve the facility. The vote was unanimous in favor.
The Nielsens are having the wellness center built and once completed they will turn it over to the city of Humboldt. The city will then own and operate the wellness center. The Humboldt Recreation Director will be located in the new building.
“This is a personal first for me. To experience this sense of community, a family giving back at this level is nothing short of amazing,” Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken said.
“This is a wonderful, generous gift to the community. We want to thank you for your commitment and for leaving a legacy to Humboldt,” council member Jim Vermeer said.
Construction is expected to start soon and take about 16 to 18 months to complete. Sande Construction of Humboldt is the general contractor on the project.
Plans call for two full length basketball courts, which will also be able to be configured to four smaller courts.
There will be a ground level 200-meter spike proof competition and walking track (six lanes on the straight away and four lanes on the curves), which will allow for competitive track meets to be held there. There will be bleachers that can be used to watch basketball or track events.
There will be two racquetball courts, weight facilities, a cardio studio, spin room, small conference room, multiple offices, kitchen space, large locker rooms, family bathroom, a cross fit type or exercise/wrestling room and an area for possible future daycare while parents work out.
Once the new facility is completed, the West River Recreation Board of Directors has voted to cease operations. The Humboldt Wellness Center will acquire the best of their equipment for the new facility.
Membership costs at the new wellness center are expected to be very similar to what the costs have been at West River Recreation.
“There is no way the city could do this by itself. We’ve worked through the numbers and without debt service the facility should cash flow very well,” Goedken said. Plans call for the Recreation Director to assist, plus a full-time facility manager and about 100 hours for part-time employees per week.
The wellness center hours haven’t been set, but Goedken said it is likely the center will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
“This is going to be huge for Humboldt. Working with the Ken and Marilyn Nielsen family has been a treat. We are very fortunate,” Goedken said. “This is also one of the biggest things we can do to help with our workforce issues. It’s what is known as amenities led economic development. The millennial generation decides where they want to live and then look for a job or create a job for themselves where they want to live.”
“We’re proud to be able to do this for the city of Humboldt. Marilyn and I both grew up here, have been in business here for more than 60 years and we think Humboldt is just the best place,” Ken Nielsen told the council.
Following the meeting Ken Nielsen said it should be a facility that can be utilized by young and old alike.
“It should help people keep fit. We’re thankful for the cooperation from the city and especially Sande Construction,” Nielsen told the Independent.
Goedken went over a cash flow analysis with the council that showed the facility would show a profit of about $31,000 per year. Goedken said he was very conservative in his revenue forecasts.
“There should be no additional cost to the taxpayer for operating the facility,” Goedken said.
The city’s contribution to the project is estimated at $475,000 for the infrastructure costs of bringing sewer and water to the site, building a road with parking and drainage improvements.
For other people looking to contribute, an endowment fund is being set up through the Humboldt County Community Foundation to assist with long term improvements at the wellness center.

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