Normal to move forward on building outdoor fitness court

From the Town of Normal and the National Fitness Campaign
From the Town of Normal and the National Fitness Campaign(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 9:13 PM CST
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NORMAL (HEART OF ILLINOIS ABC) - An outdoor fitness court, costing an estimated $180,000, is a step closer to becoming reality for a neighborhood in north Normal.

The Town Council Tuesday night voted 4-2 to accept a $25,000 grant to help offset the cost of a fitness court that town staffers envision at Rosa Park Commons on Raab Road, close to the Constitution Trail.

Normal is now a participant in the National Fitness Campaign, which aims to bring outdoor fitness to 1,000 communities by 2023.

The non-profit organization pledges to help communities to identify sponsorship opportunities to lower the cost to taxpayers.

Council members Stan Nord and Kathleen Lorenz voted no. Nord described the project as a “sunny-day” solution to better fitness because participants would likely use the fitness court when the weather is good.

Lorenz said the plan “seem a little gimmicky” to her. She’s also worried whether the town is taking business away from local gyms.

“How do I look at the owner of The Workout Company” and say, yeah, this is a good idea when this could very well be taking members away from his gym, or any gym?”

Mayor Chris Koos, who voted with the majority, isn’t worried about potential competition.

“I don’t see how a passive piece of equipment in a park is going to threaten the some 45 health clubs we have in our community,” Koos said.

Council member Kevin McCarthy also backed the plan.

‘I think this is a great opportunity to invest in health-related public playground infrastructure,” McCarthy said.

The town council will take final action on the plan in about six months after staff reports back on fundraising.

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