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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)
Construction crews have spent most of the year converting what was once an automotive repair shop at Westlake Towne Center at Smith Mountain Lake into a state-of-the-art fitness facility.
Targeted for clients age 15 and older, Carilion Wellness Westlake is set to open Friday. Among the amenities will be cardio and strength-training exercise equipment, an indoor pool for aerobics and lap swimming, a warm-water therapy pool, six outdoor pickleball courts and a virtual golf simulator.
"We want to give you strength to do what you do on a daily basis — climbing steps, lifting the grandkids, swinging the golf club," said Bud Grey, vice president of Carilion Wellness.
The 18,000-square-foot facility is a partnership between Runk & Pratt Senior Living Communities and Carilion Wellness, an affiliate of the nonprofit Carilion Clinic.
Since Runk & Pratt opened its Smith Mountain Lake retirement community nine years ago, a pool where residents could exercise was always in the plans, said CEO Brian Runk.
At the same time, Carilion was looking to increase its wellness footprint in Franklin County. "It was like the planets were aligning," Grey said.
In 2015, Runk & Pratt bought the 10,000-square-foot building that was once Town Center Complete Automotive for $750,000, Franklin County real estate records show.
Construction crews added 8,000 square feet to accommodate two indoor pools and a hot tub.
Carilion plans to lease the building from Runk & Pratt, which is footing the more than $3.5 million price tag for construction, Runk said. This will be the fifth location for Carilion Wellness; others are in Roanoke County, downtown Roanoke, Botetourt County and Blacksburg.
Treadmills, stationary bikes and handicapped-accessible cardio equipment, such as recumbent ellipticals and lateral stability trainers, are available for all activity levels, said Katie Tate, Carilion Wellness Westlake's director of operations.
A separate area features pneumatic resistance machines.
"You can make a lap through this equipment and get a full-body workout," Tate said.
There's also a functional training area with kettlebells, medicine balls and cable machines.
A variety of instructor-led group exercise classes will be available, as well as virtual on-demand classes. "That allows us to have a fairly robust offering right out of the gate," Grey said.
Membership pricing starts at $50 per month for an individual and $80 for a household.
Every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., the facility will be open to all ages, Tate said — "So grandparents can bring their grandkids."
While many of the amenities will be for members only, other activities, including nutritional counseling, vaccinations, wellness screenings and health talks, will be open to the community. An on-site cafe will serve healthy snacks.
"It's going to be a lot more than a fitness center," Grey said. "We want it to be a gathering place for the community. People can come mingle and hang out there together."
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