DELAVAN - The new Delavan Community Fitness Center is almost ready for students to use, and a community sale next month will raise money for opening it to the public outside school hours.
The facility, which occupies about 2,000 square feet on the school campus, is expected to open for student use by the end of the month, said Andrew Brooks, principal of Delavan Junior High School and Delavan High School.
"We're rolling along with it and just about finished," he said. "We're done with a majority of the work."
Brooks said white rock needs to be placed along the outside of the building, but inside work is basically complete and waiting for an inspection to approve it for student use.
The new exercise equipment, which includes weight-training equipment, treadmills and several types of exercise bicycles, soon will be moved over from the high school gym.
The building was built and equipped through private money, and the community and students have been enthusiastic supporters, Brooks said.
"There were so many people who donated to this building, so I think it was something the whole community stood behind," Brooks said.
The students particularly seem pleased with the building, he said.
"The students are really getting anxious. We've had many volunteering during study hall to go over and help out with painting and other tasks," said Brooks. "There's some excitement en route, and I'm excited about that."
The students of Delavan will be the sole users of the facility from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, but hours will be extended when money is available to pay for it, Brooks said.
"The interest level for a community center is high, so this fills that gap in Delavan," Brooks said. "Money does need to be raised from the community to supply the staff and money needed to keep the building open when the school is not using it."
The community sale for the Delavan Education Foundation will start at 10 a.m. March 18 in the 300 block of Locust Street and the 100 block of Third Street in Delavan.
People can contribute items for sale, and the foundation will keep a percentage of the sale price.
The seller will get the rest, but the foundation will keep all of the proceeds from any sale for $5 or less.
"We never expected so many people wanting to get involved with raising money, and we haven't hadn;a community salen;in years. Plus it will help raise the money to open the center for the community," said foundation member Glenn Holmes of Delavan.
Holmes and Brooks said they were unsure how much money would need to be raised for the extended hours. Holmes said leftover money would go to scholarships for the students in the Delavan school district.
The school district needed roughly $110,000 for the center, plus another $15,000 to $20,000 for equipment.
All came from a $25,000 donor, mass mailings to the community, solicitations from graduates, a raffle, contributions from local businesses and other donations.
The workout area of the building makes up 1,600 square feet of the building.
Two restrooms, shower areas and storage/maintenance areas make up the remaining 320 square feet.