NORMAL – With the City Council voting in favor, the town’s parks and recreation department is preparing to gather sponsors for a new outdoor fitness court with a view to installing it by the end of 2022.

“I think the next six months will help us guess exactly how No. 1 will be paid – what kind of support we can get from the community through sponsors – what the programming will be like and how we’re going to get support through the fitness community,” said Doug Damery Parks and Director of Recreation on Wednesday.

The council approved a decision Tuesday night to take part in the National Fitness Campaign, a non-profit organization that promotes “improving fitness courts” in communities across the country.

“At first it seemed like we were buying a fitness center, but we’re looking to buy a lot more than that,” Damery told City Hall.

People’s participation in the campaign and the subsequent fitness court facility, which is a full body functional exercise circuit training system designed for adults with various skill levels and physical abilities, also includes a design, $ 25,000 grant, support. To help fund the National Fitness Campaign sponsors project and facility guidance.

“Now with that (council’s) approval, the National Fitness Campaign will also commit its resources,” Damery said Wednesday.

The campaign also includes a training program for ambassadors to introduce residents to the training circuit and a mobile application that provides additional information on how to use the court, training and other functions.

The parks department is likely to seek partnerships with members of the fitness community, such as coaches and other staff at local gyms, for the ambassador program.

Damery said the Rosa Parks Commons is likely to be a site for a fitness court because it is located in part at 105 E. Raab Road, next to the Constitution Trail, but that decision is not over.

“It’s an exciting project. I think it’s very pretty, and there’s nothing like that in our parks right now, ”Damery said. “I think it’s going to be a nice complement to what we’re doing and it’s going to provide a nice healthy infrastructure to make people healthier, more active.”

The court estimates $ 140,000 plus installation and preparation costs $ 40,000.

In city documents, city staff stated that the preparation and installation of the site would be completed through the town, and estimated that a budget of $ 20,000 would be needed to include the materials in the 2022-23 budget.

Damery told Pantagraph that the plan is to prepare and install the facility in the village, and that National Fitness Campaign estimate will be reduced from $ 40,000 to $ 20,000, which will be included in the 2022-23 budget.

The resolution passed two votes against Kathleen Lorenz and Stan Nord Trusts. Trust Karyn Smith was out.

Lorenz said he thought it was a nice concept, like “the icing on a cake,” but “I think it’s a little gimmick-y.”

“I think we have a good infrastructure right now for our linear park, an investment that we continue to make, and I think that’s a good thing for our Constitution. Our park system – I think we have a good foundation. Would that be nice? Of course. ”he said before the vote, adding that he was concerned about the competition from local gyms and health clubs.

Damery said Wednesday instead of submitting to the gym competition, “I think this will become a fitness entry and can eventually take people to a gym.”

Nord said he would support the project if it gets funding before the city council vote, adding that if competition is not an issue, local gyms may be interested in sponsoring it.

“I would like to see funding, with all donors identified in advance, so that we can really find out how much money the council is asking for,” he said. “I see it as ‘nice’, but it’s a sunny day and it’s a project that wants it. We have streets and infrastructure that need a dollar. I’d rather see these dollars go there right now.”

Damery said his department deliberately waited until the council could provide funding before getting the grants, and listening to councilors ’concerns would help guide the next phase of the project.

Leaders Scott Preston, Kevin McCarthy and Chemberly Cummings highlighted in the comments how this project fits into the overall goals of the town to address the health and benefit of residents with free access to community facilities.

McCarthy said he supports “healthy active programming and infrastructure.” I think it’s a great opportunity to invest in health-related public playground infrastructure and systems, “he said.

Schools are reopening in the U.S. and Mexico, but students and staff have to take negative COVID tests in order to return to work in many organizations. Schools around the world are struggling to figure out how to get back to class at COVID. New York authorities are actively encouraging children to return to school, saying they are better off in class than at home. In Seattle, schools are opening a day late to give students time to take COVID tests, delayed the resumption of even the largest school districts in Los Angeles, and said students should give a negative before allowing permission to return. Schools were opened on time in Mexico City, but parents are concerned that their children are at risk. Many classes in Mexico City are less than half full.

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.