BY KAREN LA PIERRE

klapierre@dailynews.net

The Hays Recreation Commission is looking to expand how fitness and wellness are delivered. With that goal in mind, it has announced plans to add a new building with construction beginning next summer.

"As a part of that, it's necessary to create new space," said Jeff Briggs, chairman of the board of directors.

The cost of the new building is estimated to be $2 million and was a part of the long range planning for the commission, Briggs said.

The commission will begin gathering bids for a new fitness center adjacent to the existing site on the north side and across the parking lot.

"It will be free standing on the same campus just across the parking lot," Briggs said.

The new facility will be 12,000 square feet, and it was a part of the long range plan.

The commission is moving forward provided the bids come in at the budgeted amount.

"It was approved at the last meeting to let bids," Briggs said.

He said the board has been working on this project for some time, and they have paid off the loan for the existing facility.

They do not plan to raise property taxes.

"We do feel like we can afford to move forward with this project," Briggs said. "It would serve the community exceptionally well."

The budgeted mill levy assessment for 2015 for the commission is three mills.

The commission plans to move the fitness facility to the new space, which will add a significant amount of space.

They will have cardio, resistance training, group fitness classes, a small shower space and some office space in the new building.

The new facility will free up gym space in the existing facility, which has been used for programs. The gym space will go back to being use for court space.

They also will use the old facility for alternative programs, programs with children and as multi-use space for adults.

They expect construction to start July 2015 and be finished July 2016.