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Vet’s pool renovation, addition of health, wellness center part of grant application
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A major Carroll County project is included in the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA)’s regional Appalachian Community Grant (ACG) Program application called Destination Appalachia: Pathway to Prosperity.
The project application was submitted Dec. 8 and is under review by the Governor’s Office of Appalachia for potential funding.
Among the 41 regionally transformative projects from across the 10-county OMEGA region, is the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Pool and Community Wellness Center, a project that represents a unique opportunity to improve the mental and physical health and wellness of Carroll County and the surrounding region.
This grant program marked an unprecedented opportunity for the Appalachian region, and I am most proud of the spirit of collaboration that was demonstrated throughout the process among our partnering constituents,” explained Dr. Vicki King-Maple, executive director of OMEGA. “We carefully vetted over 90 projects, and Carroll County’s proposal not only demonstrated the ability to deliver a transformational, sustainable project, but they did so through quantifiable, actionable and achievable outcomes and research – leaving us incredibly hopeful that it will be funded.”
The renovation, expansion and repurposing of the shuttered Veterans Memorial Pool facility on Brenner Rd. along with the modernization of the adjacent Veterans Memorial Park will provide mental health, physical fitness, and recreation opportunities for all ages.
The project area is owned by Save22, a 501C3 private non-profit organization focused on fighting veteran, active duty and first responder suicide. In addition to the counseling, aquatic therapy, and mental health resources for veterans, active military, and first responders, the project will provide space for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to serve the healthcare needs of everyone in the greater Carroll County area.
The new facilities will include indoor therapy and recreational pools, fitness areas and shareable classroom and clinical spaces, providing for the delivery of quality-of-life services and programs that support holistic health and wellness.
“The Veterans Memorial project will help rectify the existing challenges of the poor health indicators – especially substance use disorders, mental health issues and chronic diseases – that adversely impact the economic climate of so many communities and populations, including our courageous military veterans and first-responders,” continued King-Maple. “Local access to reliable, quality healthcare is a right not currently available in parts of our region like Carroll County, so projects like this strengthen communities and keep us competitive on a state and federal level as we advocate for this critical component that can no longer be neglected.”
In addition to completing an economic impact analysis for the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Pool and Community Wellness Center, the county also presented healthcare indicators and outcomes that demonstrated the significant need to establish this facility as a physical fitness, wellness and healthcare center. Topping the list were Improving Quality-of-Life (QOL) and Improving Access to care by improving the ratio of primary care, dental and mental health providers. Improving Life Expectancy and Improving Chronic Health Conditions were also prioritized.
“The ACG presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something truly transformational for generations to come. I am proud of this community collaboration of local government, businesses and non-profit’s ability to come together with the sole objective to make Carroll County and our region a better place to live, work and play” said Commissioner Christopher R. Modranski. “We vetted many great projects and the Veterans Memorial Pool and Community Wellness Center rose to the top. The project combines healthcare and wellness needs of our community with a splash of our heritage. This is more than a swimming pool. It’s a place for our children and residents to thrive!”
Estimated cost of the project is $12,398,350 and if funded, the anticipated construction completion date is in February 2026. The application notes over 20 public and private organizations have committed partnership in the delivery of family support services, mental health support, fitness and wellness programming, educational offerings, youth engagement initiatives and operational support for the center.
If selected for funding under the ACG Program, the project outlined would provide a healthcare resource that is desperately needed among a demographic that is often overlooked. Economic development professionals, elected officials and constituents of Carroll County have rallied together in the spirit of community betterment and collaboration to make the proposed project a success and a hopeful reality.
OMEGA’s mission is to provide a pathway to enhance community and economic growth in our region. OMEGA serves 10 counties in Eastern Ohio: Belmont; Carroll; Columbiana; Coshocton; Guernsey; Harrison; Holmes; Jefferson; Muskingum and Tuscarawas.
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