Essentia Wellness Center (EWC)
Project Type: Wellness Center
Client: City of Hermantown
This 72,000 square foot Wellness Center includes a YMCA aquatics center, studios, gym, and fitness facilities, a 1/8 mile walking track, and Early Childhood Development Center. In addition, Yellow Bike Coffee café and multiple community focused spaces complement an adjoining lifestyle and physical therapy clinic for Essentia Health.
The 1992 Hermantown Middle School addition was remodeled to house the Essentia Therapy Clinic and Early Childcare Development Center. It’s reuse aided in achieving the project budget and project goals.
An innovative feature, the Early Childhood Development Center provides access to a licensed, quality, full-day childcare facility – supporting early educational opportunities for the community while providing a solution for a growing need throughout the region.
The unique facility design promotes a community-centered environment as seen in the main lobby. The Yellow Bike Coffee café, fireside lounge, and a large multipurpose room serve as thriving areas for communal, multi-generational engagement.
The integrated outdoor patio offers a connection to nature and observation of the children’s playground. The site’s design and building placement support future expansion – capturing how the community-focused design lends itself to future growth. The need for the facility has far surpassed expectations with first year membership estimated to be 500, with actual numbers now over 5,000.
The facility’s location was chosen after careful consideration to minimize disturbance to the sensitive wetlands and wildlife. From planning and construction to ultimate usage, the Wellness Center promotes human relationships and connectivity to the outdoors.
LHB provided project management services from the inception of the project through predesign, community engagement, concept design, lobbying and successful application through the State of Minnesota’s bonding bill. Following funding approval, LHB led the design process for all disciplines, assisted fund raising efforts and construction manager selection, and provided construction administration.