elkhart-aquatics-gymThe plans have been long in the making, but on Wednesday, Beacon Health System and four community partners announced timelines for the construction and opening of a $65 million medical fitness, aquatics and community complex in downtown Elkhart.

Ground is expected to be broken this spring on the new complex that will be constructed on the former Elkhart YMCA and Elkhart Youth Community Center site. The project is a collaboration of Beacon, the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Elkhart Community Schools, the Regional Cities Initiative and the City of Elkhart.

Beacon will operate the 170,000-square-foot center, which is expected to open in early 2019.

Take a virtual tour of the center here.

The complex, which has not yet been named, will contain a 66-meter by 25-meter competition swimming pool with an attached diving well and multiple platforms and boards. Organizers anticipate the aquatics center attracting and hosting amateur swimming championships as well as regional and state high school competitions.

It will also be home to the region’s third Beacon Health & Fitness.

“Beacon Health and Fitness will offer the same standard for medical fitness that we provide in South Bend and Mishawaka,” said Phil Newbold, Beacon’s chief executive officer.

“We will offer health-related fitness programs, including sports medicine, orthopedics, and physical therapy, along with a full medical center, fitness pool, gymnasium, suspended running track and racquetball courts,” he said.

The center also will contain a 25-yard fitness pool, a therapeutic pool, wet classroom, dry training space, locker rooms, gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms for meetings and special occasions, atrium, and an outdoor patio with access to walking trails.

Young children and families will be able to use the center for open and recreational swimming and sports, including basketball, pickleball, volleyball and other community programs and classes.

“Whether you are a competitive athlete, a senior citizen, or a family seeking a diverse set of programs for everyone – this facility will truly improve the quality of life in our county and in our region,” Newbold said.elkhartaquatics-pool