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Field house dreams: Officials conducting study, considering project
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Field house dreams: Officials conducting study, considering project

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Columbus may soon join the ranks of a couple of other Nebraska towns that have their own field house.

Columbus Community Hospital’s administration and its board of directors are exploring the idea of constructing one of their own on land just north of the Columbus Wellness Center, 3912 38th St. The idea for a field house, a large multipurpose building used for various forms of athletic events and the housing of athletic equipment, is just that. Hospital officials are currently researching the feasibility of opening such a venue – nothing is set in stone.

The field house is one of several initiatives hospital leaders are looking into, according to CCH President/CEO Mike Hansen, who noted the organization’s commitment to providing area residents with additional wellness and health opportunities.

“In our community, there are not a lot of opportunities for wellness activities, physical activities, during the wintertime outside,” Hansen told The Telegram. “During the winter, people are going to 30 Center Mall, they’re going to Menards, to walk and things like that.

“Our vision is to have a facility that can be utilized by the entire community.”

The possibilities when it comes to such a facility’s use are broad. Hansen, who noted the field house would most likely be equipped with some kind of artificial turf, could be the site of indoor soccer games, ping-pong tournaments, volleyball contests and more. A walking/running track above the field and batting cages may also be in the cards.

“There is a myriad of sports you can do,” Hansen said.

Bringing such a facility to Columbus could be a natural progression for CCH and Columbus as a whole, after the successful opening of the wellness center in 2015. That 85,000-square-foot facility was a $22 million project by CCH that houses medical and general wellness.

The hospital provides the medical portion with outpatient rehabilitation services that include physical, occupational and speech-language pathology for adults, as well as the pediatric rehabilitation program Wiggles and Giggles Therapy for Kids. General wellness is covered through the Columbus Family YMCA, which is leasing space in the center.

Hansen stressed the wellness center’s success, noting increased memberships at the Y since the grand opening and the number of people who utilize the medical services.

CCH leaders have plenty of sources of inspiration if they ultimately choose to construct a local field house. They have visited other communities that recently constructed such buildings – Norfolk, Papillion and the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Norfolk saw its YMCA reopen last spring after undergoing an expansion that included the field house, which boasts a suspended running track.

The Papillion Landing Field House is 81,000 square feet, according to its website, and boasts an artificial turf soccer field, four batting cages, two live pitching tunnels, a pair of meeting rooms and more.

Meanwhile, The Sanford Fieldhouse is touted on its website as “the premier indoor sports facility for local, regional and national athletic training, soccer, baseball, softball, football and POWER fitness programs.” There, people are said to enjoy 62,000 square feet of professional-grade Field Turf®, state-of-the-art training facilities and full-amenity locker rooms.

Hansen said CCH leaders will continue to chat with various community stakeholders, such as those from the local schools, sports leagues and The Y, on the potential project. The hospital would pay for the building, though cost, features and other details will come down the line after the study is completed.

“The success of the Columbus Wellness Center has made it clear that when wellness opportunities are provided to them our community members respond in a big way,” Hansen said. “We’re excited about the prospect of continuing to grow our wellness offerings so our community members can continue to improve their health and well-being.”

For more information on health and wellness offerings available through Columbus Community Hospital, visit www.columbushosp.org.

Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at matt.lindberg@lee.net.

 

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Managing Editor

Matt Lindberg is an award-winning journalist and graduate of the University of Kansas.

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