The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma recently broke ground on an aquatic center that will be built as a new addition to the Eastern Shawnee Wellness Center.

“We have been looking at ways members can benefit from our center and we thought an aquatic center would be a great way to benefit all of our members,” said Ron Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Wellness Center director.

The tribe broke ground on May 11 and has hopes of getting it completed by the end of October this year. Branco was hired to do the work on the center.

“There will be three pools of fairly good size and we will also have a six- to eight-person jacuzzi. We will also be adding an aqua therapy pool that we are extremely proud of,” said Wallace.

The pools will be used by tribal members and also the early childhood center. The wellness center will also have the ability to teach swimming lessons, offer water volleyball, and several other activities with the new pool additions.

“Our therapy pool will be great for our tribal elders. It has warm water jets, massage jets, and an underwater treadmill,” said Wallace.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe will be the only place in the area that has a therapy pool beside its physical therapy facilities.

“We are hoping this will help our elders and encourage them to come out to our center to get that therapy,” said Wallace.

Even with the new addition to the wellness center, the membership prices are not going to raise, according to Wallace. A monthly membership at the Eastern Shawnee Wellness Center is $25 a month and it will stay that way. The center is open to the public.

“We are very excited to get it open, and we have had several people ask about a pool in our center,” said Wallace. 

In 2016 the tribe applied for a grant for this project but was turned down and this year they re-applied, with new wording and were successful in getting approved.

“We have been in the process of trying to make this a reality for a while and we are happy to say that we are finally getting the ball rolling,” said Wallace.

In addition to pools, a jacuzzi, and the therapy pool, the wellness center will also be getting an indoor walking track that will be built along the pools.

“We have several people that have requested a track that they can walk inside without walking the gym while guys are playing basketball, so we have created a way to accommodate that,” said Wallace.

The indoor walking track will go down an existing hall and travel between the pools, down the west side of the gym and continue on behind the wellness center, all enclosed.

“The track will allow you walk a complete lap, all enclosed, and it will be very nice,” said Wallace. “We are very excited about the things happening here at the wellness center and hope you all come check it out when it’s finished in October.”

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