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City of Sioux Falls to purchase Sanford Tea-Ellis Wellness Center

Tea-Ellis wellness facility on the east side of Sioux Falls.
City of Sioux Falls
Tea-Ellis wellness facility on the east side of Sioux Falls.

City of Sioux Falls officials said they plan on purchasing the Sanford Tea-Ellis Wellness Center on the west side of the city.

The 70,000-square-foot facility will house indoor recreation programs like aquatics, court sports, fitness, and community gathering spaces.

"While we aren't completely stepping away from our dedication to offering a fitness and indoor pool option for our communities, this shift allows us to refocus efforts on more medically based needs, which we've seen grow immensely," said Steve Young, president of Sanford Sports.

Sanford Health will continue to operate the Oxbow Wellness Center with an added focus on medically based health and wellness opportunities, including expanded physical therapy and weight management services, Young said.

Currently, the city falls short of National Recreation and Park Associationrecommendations of indoor recreation space per capita. City officials say the purchase will help Sioux Falls close that gap.

"When we survey our Sioux Falls residents about their recreation facility needs and priorities, they tell us that their priorities are indoor playgrounds, indoor, running/walking tracks, and indoor fitness and exercise facilities. All three are among the top five, along with trails and nature areas," said Sioux Falls Director of Parks and Recreation Don Kearney. "Acquiring this facility from Sanford Health will be a great step toward meeting those needs."

The $9 million purchase depends on the city council’s approval of the aquatics bond. That vote happens in May. The bond also includes funding for replacing aging pools at Frank Olson and Kuehn Park. The total estimated cost for all three projects is $77 million. The city will host neighborhood meetings for the replacement facilities Apr. 24-25, followed by a city council presentation.

The city looks to begin operations at the wellness center by the end of the year.

Krystal is the local host of "All Things Considered."