Paxton wellness center moves to bigger space

Paxton wellness center moves to bigger space

PAXTON — Gibson Area Hospital is moving its wellness center in Paxton to a much bigger building on East Pells Street — a facility that will also host educational health care classes and programs.

The Gibson City hospital installed a sign last week outside the building it bought last year at 711 E. Pells St. in Paxton — the former Provena medical clinic — advertising the new location of the Paxton Community & Wellness Center.

Rob Schmitt, the hospital's chief executive officer, said the existing wellness center at 239 N. Taft St. in Paxton will be moved to the Pells Street site effective Jan. 1.

The move to the 7,000-squre-foot building will more than triple the space available for weight-lifting and fitness training, Schmitt said. It will also allow the wellness center to begin offering community education classes — and support group meetings — on a variety of health-related topics.

When the wellness center moves from the Taft Street building, the to-be-vacant site will become the Paxton branch of the hospital's Elite Performance athletic enhancement program, Schmitt said. The opening of the Paxton branch should benefit the many Paxton-area athletes who have been traveling to the Gibson City branch to meet with their athletic trainers, Schmitt said.

Gibson Area Hospital opened its wellness center in the 3,000-square-foot building located next to the Gibson Area Ambulance Service garage on Taft Street in September 2011, but the hospital always planned to move the facility into expanded quarters if the possibility arose, Schmitt said.

When the former Provena building was put on the market, the hospital decided it was a "natural solution" to buy the building and move the wellness center there, Schmitt said.

The rear portion of the building will be used for support group meetings and educational programs, Schmitt said. That will allow Paxton residents to avoid having to travel to Gibson Area Hospital for the hospital's monthly support-group meetings.

The wellness center's move will make way for Paxton's own Elite Performance center, giving Ford County two Elite Performance sites. The other is near County Market in Gibson City and is frequently used by "kids from all over the region," Schmitt said.

"I know the entire PBL basketball team was there working out last summer," Schmitt said. "Kids from Tri-Point, Blue Ridge, Fisher ... all come to that one in Gibson.

"If you come here at 4 o'clock, the Elite Performance building in Gibson City is packed with athletes and trainers and people working out."

Meanwhile, Gibson Area Hospital plans to open a clinic in Potomac during the week of Christmas. The building that will occupy the clinic will also house a new Potomac branch of the Gifford State Bank, Schmitt said.

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