illinois Digital News

Town of Normal moving forward with plans for outdoor fitness court


NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — At Tuesday’s Normal Town Council meeting, the council approved a resolution partnering with the National Fitness Campaign for the installation of an outdoor fitness court in town.

Doug Damery, Town of Normal Director of Parks & Recreation, said the fitness court will be sleek and low-maintenance and will come with a mobile app, so users can further interact with the court.

The fitness court will cost an estimated $180,000, $140,000 for the court, and $40,000 for installation and site preparation, but the nonprofit National Fitness Campaign has granted the town $25,000 to go towards the cost.

Council Members Stan Nord and Kathleen Lorenz voted against the resolution, with Nord fearing the court would only see use during warm weather months, and Lorenz concerned about possible competition with local existing fitness centers.

“How do I look at the owner of the workout company and say ‘yeah this is a good idea,’ when this could very well be taking members away from his gym,” said Lorenz.

Others council members believed the court would be beneficial.

“Sometimes it’s not feasible for some of us to afford a gym membership, but to have access to these types of amenities, certainly helps with this,” said Council Member Chemberly Cummings.

Right now, the recommendation from town staff is for the court to be built at Rosa Parks Commons on Raab Road, in part due to its proximity to Constitution Trail.

“As a runner, I know people are gonna be running, walking, they might be riding their bikes, but that’s not the only thing. They can drive, it’s a trail head, so there’s a nice large parking lot there, so even if you’re not interested in running or walking there, you can still get there,” said Damery.

Leaders with the town said the National Fitness Campaign will help find funding partners for the town to support the project’s estimated final cost.

Once funding has been identified, the purchase of the fitness court will come back to the council for approval.

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