Community , Health

Osage Nation receives $800,000 grant for new Fairfax fitness center

The Osage Nation is receiving an $800,000 federal grant to build a new Fairfax Fitness Center, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In a Sept. 12 news release, HUD announced more than $56 million is being awarded to 77 Native American communities as part of HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant program, “which supports a wide range of community development and affordable housing activities.”

The Nation applied for the grant program and said it is using the $800,000 to construct a new wellness center to replace the current ON Fitness Center in Fairfax.

According to the project summary, the proposed Fairfax facility “will allow for the addition of program activities that include group floor exercises and educational classes addressing healthy lifestyle management. Not only will the staff be able to offer more choices in types of physical activities to a wider range of ages and abilities, other existing Osage Nation programs that deal with these and other health issues will have a place to bring their program’s activities and education programs in Fairfax.”

The announcement comes four months after the Fourth ON Congress passed an appropriation bill (ONCA 16-71 sponsored by Congressman Ron Shaw) for $250,000 to pay the tribal matching costs for the ICDBG application. The bill passed during a May special session.

Earlier this year, the Nation also approved plans to move forward in building a new wellness/ fitness center for Hominy. During the Hun-Kah Session, the Congress passed ONCA 16-38, which is a $150,000 appropriation bill for the purchase of real property in Hominy with the money being appropriated to the capital asset and improvement fund for a new Wellness Center. At the time, Congressman William “Kugee” Supernaw (that bill’s sponsor) said the money will go toward purchasing land in Hominy by the Head Start building. The current fitness center is located north of town in the Nation’s Industrial Park and residents told Supernaw the facility is too small for the workout equipment.

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