LEWISBURG -- Plans were announced today for a new $6 million recreation and wellness center in Union County.
A well-known family in Lewisburg is spearheading the effort to for the fitness center. The Miller family owns Playworld Systems, which makes playground equipment. Now, they hope to create a place where people from all over central Pennsylvania can come to play.
This vacant building on Saint Mary Street near Lewisburg used to be a furniture warehouse. Over the next few years, the plan is to turn it into a 90,000 square foot, state of the art recreation and wellness center.
"Wouldn't it really be great if we had a central location in the center of our community where people could come and meet all our recreation needs?" Miller said.
The Millers had the idea for the facility and are giving $2.5 million to the project. Geisinger Health System will provide other funding along with health and fitness expertise.
"We really hope that down the line they're going to add programming as well so we have leading information on how to impact people's well-being," Miller said.
Miller says the facility will include hard courts for basketball, an indoor field, fitness activities, physical therapy and more.
Miller also hopes to put a cafe in the facility. He wants to do that right here so people using the rail trail could also have easy access.
"We don't really have anything in the area and it's a very large building so it seems like it would probably benefit the community quite a bit," John Eisenhart said.
"I think it's a great idea. I had no idea that this was coming to be and it's going to do this community a great service," Albert Hess said.
The building is across the street from Lewisburg Recreation Park, and next to part of the nine mile rail trail.
"To be able to have a facility like this that's open 12 months out of the year, I think that's going to elevate the level of opportunity for the community," Miller said.
Miller hopes to break ground on the recreation and wellness center by the end of next year. Once the facility is open, he expects the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority to be in charge of the programs.