A grant-funded study will determine the feasibility of each aspect of a community/wellness center for the region following the award of a contract to Gary Leva, director of the Benewah Wellness Center in Plummer, Idaho and principal at the Gary Consulting Group in Spokane.
Leva was instrumental in the formation of the community center serving the Plummer, Idaho area and several others.
Last summer, a steering committee rekindled a three-year-old effort to establish a community/wellness center in the area. Self-named the Coulee Region Community Wellness Center Committee, the group has been meeting most months since July. Representatives of the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, the Grand Coulee Dam School District, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Colville Tribes and the chamber of commerce joined with the Coulee Medical Center to push the concept and carefully study what services could be sustained in the area.
The study will be funded by two grants. The park district secured a $20,000 grant from Grant County last year for that purpose. Coulee Medical Center, through its affiliation with Critical Access Hospital Network, was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Regence Foundation.
The work builds on discussions held in 2008 and 2009 by the Wellness Action Group, an outgrowth of Horizons Grand Coulee, where the idea was born. The wellness group approached the park and recreation district as the logical, grant-eligible government entity to continue the exploration of a center that could include an aquatic center, exercise area, meeting space, child care and more.
Announcing the engagement of the consultant, Coulee Area Park and Recreation District Chairman Phil Hansen told district commissioners Monday that he would invite them all to take part in the effort.