CENTERBURG — The Centerburg community continues to have mixed feelings about the Wellness Center. Some individuals have expressed concerns about the reduction in hours beginning in January; others question the way Mohican Therapy Group operates the facility. Still others think the Wellness Center is a good thing for the community overall.
Bob Tiell, one of the owners of Mohican Therapy Group, said he feels the organization has an excellent relationship with the school and the Centerburg community.
“I would like to see that continue,” he said. “That’s why we signed a new contract. We are trying to do our part to give something back to the community.”
Kramer Innarino is one community member who regularly takes advantage of what the Wellness Center has to offer. He stops by three or four times a week.
“I don’t have a problem with how Mohican [Therapy Group] is running the facility,” he said Tuesday evening. “It’s awesome. Everybody in here is really nice. Everybody who works here is awesome. All the equipment works great.”
Other community members, who declined to be identified, said that although “something is always broken,” all of the equipment is kept clean and that they like the variety of equipment available. They felt the number of televisions in the facility was sufficient, and appreciate the addition of a radio playing music.
“It helps get you pumped up,” one person explained.
One man said he was unhappy about the increase in membership costs, but Innarino had no problems with the fee.
“It seems fair to me,” he said. “I’ve checked around for memberships and compared. I go to Ohio State, so I could work out for free there, but this is closer to home. I think the cost is reasonable for local people. Also, it is the only gym in town.”
Two others who spoke to the News said they disliked idea of reducing hours because of senior citizens who maybe used the facility during the daytime hours. But, one added, “at least there is a place in town.”
Beginning in January, Wellness Center hours for community members will be from 5 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays; and from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Innarino said he was not concerned about the reduction in the number of hours the center will be open to the public.
“I used to come during the day,” he said, “and not that many people were here. They mostly come in the early morning and evening.”
The reduction in hours is due to financial reasons.
“I’m sure their [paid] membership and participation has been affected by the economy — just about every business has,” school board president Lynn McCann said. “That’s the primary reason for the cutback in hours.”
Despite the mixed feelings among the community, McCann said the Centerburg school board is satisfied with the job MTG has been doing at the Wellness Center.
“We’re sure very happy that [MTG] has stayed with us through what’s really difficult times for them,” said McCann. “Currently they are operating in the red at the Centerburg facility.”
“We’re a business partner with Mohican and we’re a good judge about how things are operating,” board member Ron Ross added. “Overall, it is a great program, not only for our community but for the school district, also.”
Centerburg students, faculty and staff can use the facility for free, he explained, and that means there are potentially 1,300 or more nonpaying members for the Wellness Center.
Centerburg athletic director Jim Stoyle said he appreciates MTG’s contribution to the district’s athletic program.
“We have two major benefits with Mohican Sports,” he said. “One is the manager of the Wellness Center, who has a degree in exercise science; she’s well in tune with what the needs are. She’s very knowledgeable and can assist the athletes that use the facility. Another asset is the certified athletic trainer who also serves our athletes if they get hurt at practice or something. ... It’s just a huge benefit to our athletic department to have a trainer like that.”
That benefit will continue, as an addendum to the newly signed contract with MTG provides for a trainer for off-season student-athletes during the 3 to 5 p.m. time slot on school days.
According to the contract with the school district, any profits — Wellness Center proceeds left over after expenses are paid — will go into the Wellness Center Trust Fund, which will be administered by the school district.
“We haven’t even had to set up the account yet,” said Superintendent Dorothy Holden. “MTG hasn’t yet been able to reach the break-even point.”