Osage Nation holding groundbreaking for a Fairfax Wellness Center

The Osage Nation is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fitness center in Fairfax on May 23 at noon.

The new fitness center facility will be constructed at 255 N. 1st Street next to the ON Language Center. ON government officials will be in attendance and other community officials and residents are also welcome to attend, according to an ON news release.

Plans for a new Fairfax fitness center come after the Nation successfully applied for a $800,000 federal Indian Community Development Block grant to build the 4,600 square-foot facility. The Nation paid a $250,000 matching cost for the grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after the ON Congress passed an appropriation bill for the amount in 2016. 

In a statement, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said: “This facility will be available to the public for exercise and we are going to emphasize cross-training as much as lifting weights. The facility will also have health counseling rooms for information and guidance to confront health problems people may have, including diabetes, heart disease and other health related issues.”

The new Fairfax fitness facility will replace the current one located at 115 W. Elm St.

The purpose of the new site falls in line with two of Standing Bear’s goals for the ON, which are to “develop a comprehensive healthcare system” and “promote healthy communities through wellness initiatives and partnerships,” the release stated. The new building will be 4,609 square feet and will be completed in 2019 with a specific date to be determined.

The Nation is also announcing a May 24 ribbon-cutting celebration for the newly-built Hominy Wellness Center starting at noon. The new Hominy fitness facility is located at 1105 S. Eastern and will replace the current one located in the Nation-owned Industrial Park north of town.