There was a vacant field filled with glass and barbed wire, but now it’s being utilized in a more productive way. Locals in Netawaka are joining together to build a new recreation center.
Locals say there’s only one way to go from here, and that way is up. Starting with a near 30 thousand square foot recreation center. Project Manager, Julie Keehn says that this facility will bring so much to the town.
“Most of the people living here and in this area will probably agree that Netawaka was on its way downhill with just kind of becoming a ghost town almost then we started putting this facility in.”
Times were tough, but when Julie Keehn and her husband thought of this idea three years ago. It was originally going to be a small fitness center but now it’s becoming something much more.
Volunteers from all around have been helping in any way they can to get this future rec center built, even the mayor of the town has pitched in.
“This is quite a deal for this little town and if it starts the ball rolling on other things that would be great”
Local Susan Bloom says, she believes that this will change the moral of their town.
“I love living in a small community and you don’t have that opportunity like you would in the city and it will be good for everybody.”
The Reiman Foundation donated nearly 5 million dollars that will help give the community a gymnasium, walking track, basketball court, weight and cardio center, pool and even a physical therapy office.
Keehn says that she is thankful for the help of the community and from foundations who have helped.
“They were just so generous and said hey, this is an amazing project. We love this town. Lets do it. And that blessing has just really put life into this project and now it’s not an if, we’re going to be able to do something like this. It’s wow, here in small town Netawaka we’re able to build this massive facility for everybody to use.”
Keehn says, she hopes this project will lead to many more additions to their small town of Netawaka.
Construction for this facility is expected to be completed by the middle of June.