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Breaking ground on the Wellness Complex

By By Chris Cole
Published On: May 09 2014 08:25:12 PM CDT

Bannock County celebrated the groundbreaking of the future Bannock County Wellness Complex Friday.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Bannock County celebrated the groundbreaking of the future Bannock County Wellness Complex Friday. The complex will sit on 80 acres near the Bannock County Fairgrounds.

Many turned out for the ceremony, including Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad, who had even had a protege for the day.

"I felt a little bit out of place,” said Isaac Ross, Mayor for a Day, “but at the same time right where I needed to be."

Blad said not only was this a great opportunity for Ross to learn what a mayor does, but it shows the good that can come with partnering with area groups and cities as well.

"It's just an exciting day for all of Southeast Idaho, Pocatello, Chubbuck and up and down the I-15 corridor," Blad said. "Everyone will have the opportunity to take advantage of this."

The complex is a $12 million project funded by the Portneuf Healthcare Foundation, and will include several multipurpose fields, trails and an amphitheater. Shaun Menchaka, president and CEO of the foundation, said this will help folks be healthy and active.

"Exercise is really a key to preventing cancer, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, depression and many other ailments," he said. He added health also comes in the form of a healthy economic boost as well.

"It will be a regional driver," said Menchaka. "Tournaments from Utah, Montana and Idaho will come here because of this facility."

The wellness complex is expected to be complete next summer or fall.  The cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello are working with Bannock County on a joint-powers agreement for the ongoing maintenance.  The Portneuf Healthcare Foundation has also set up an endowment to help with the maintenance costs.

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