BVU Issues Public Statement Regarding the Status of a Potential Wellness Center

On October 3 and 4, the BVU Board of Trustees met for a regular meeting on campus. One of the items discussed was the status of a potential partnership to build a wellness center to be used by the community and the University. 

Buena Vista University and the City of Storm Lake have held several discussions in 2019 regarding a potential partnership in an effort to build a wellness center to be used by the community and the University. 

After more than 40 years of dialogue in Storm Lake surrounding a community wellness center, the initial conversation with BVU resulted in the City seeking a soil boring report on the primary location discussed, Scout Park, which is located adjacent to the campus of BVU. The soil boring report came back positive, prompting the City to host two public forums on August 19 and 20 which were well attended by individuals with a variety of opinions related to the location and potential of such a center. 

On October 3 and 4, the BVU Board of Trustees met for a regular meeting on the campus of BVU. One of the items discussed was the status of that potential partnership. 

A statement from BVU President Joshua Merchant follows. BVU does not expect to comment further on this topic in the near future.

“Last week, I gave the Buena Vista University Board of Trustees an update on the current status of our conversations with the City of Storm Lake regarding a potential partnership in an effort to build a new wellness center which could be used by the community and our BVU students.

We had a productive conversation with the Board about recent happenings and several potential paths for next steps. This lively discussion reminded me how fortunate the University is to have this dedicated, committed, and talented group of individuals help guide the vision and mission of the University. They continue to fully support my goals as president, one of which is to build stronger ties with Storm Lake and Northwest Iowa. We’re better together. 

The Board encouraged the University to continue to find ways to collaborate with the City and Northwest Iowa whenever possible on opportunities that assist and promote our region. They understand and support the initial conversations that were centered around helping both the City and University—and they see great potential in the creation of a wellness center in Scout Park to benefit every generation in our prosperous, growing community. 

However, the Board has given the University direction that we should move ahead with other building projects at this moment in time, including much-needed upgrades to our athletic facilities. The Board also encouraged continued conversations with the City in regard to future possibilities which will benefit the community and BVU. 

We’ll continue to review possible locations that could meet the needs of the City and the University. Another possibility which will be explored is building a fitness facility on campus. Due to limited space, it would be much smaller than the wellness center, and would serve BVU students, but would be inadequate to meet the needs of the community. 

I invited Storm Lake city manager Keri Navratil, who was joined by council member Tyson Rice and assistant city manager David Derragon, to our meeting so the Board could hear their perspective on how the city council—and the citizens of Storm Lake they represent—feel about this concept and the initial Scout Park location for this facility. 

The University’s immediate focus will now turn to other building projects. As information about these new projects becomes available, we will share it with the public.”

Joshua D. Merchant, Ph.D.
President, Buena Vista University

Tags: