BUHLER – Recreationally, things are looking up for Buhler.
Wheatland Park, in the northeast part of town, is under construction and, by early summer, a fourplex ball diamond with two full-sized baseball diamonds and softball diamonds will be erected. It will be a tournament-grade facility, according to Mayor Daniel Friesen.
A new wellness center is also being built near Wheatland Park, by a combined effort between the city and school district. The center will replace a current pool house and will house exercise equipment, free weights, an indoor pool, a rehab and exercise pool not used for recreation, a meeting and event room, lockers and a lifeguard area.
“We feel it’s extremely important for the overall growth and vibrancy of our community,” Friesen said.
The city is looking to combine a number of part-time jobs to hire a full-time rec and wellness director.
Buhler’s demographics have shifted toward younger families. They are drawn to recreational facilities, so enhancing those in Buhler will keep them coming to the community, Friesen said.
While he is the mayor, Friesen is also chief innovative officer of IdeaTek Telcom, LLC, a leading provider of fiber-optic Internet services including ultraspeed gigabit Internet, in Buhler, Inman, Haven, Mount Hope, Bentley and Moundridge.
IdeaTek is completely remodeling and overhauling the Old Mill Theater building just off Main Street in Buhler, where it plans to move its corporate headquarters.
Friesen said the large project for Buhler is expected to be completed by late spring.
According to the town’s community newsletter, Buhler Buzz, Hair and Flair Salon, LLC, has recently opened in Buhler at 641 N. Edgemoore Drive. Owner Amber Martin said the salon opened on Jan. 2.
Grand Staff Ministries Inc. also recently opened Play It Again Thrift Boutique, located at 215 and 217 N. Main St. All profits help with Grand Staff’s mission work in Swaziland, Africa.
Becky Spencer said the thrift store opened last Oct. 2 and sells just about anything, including gently used upscale clothing and home décor.
For reasons he can’t explain, said Friesen, a large contingent of entrepreneurs is drawn to the town to develop unique businesses or products.
“For us, Buhler is uniquely blessed with a lot of successful entrepreneurs. A lot of people like to live here because it’s a location close to a larger community, but off the map a little bit and a very quiet and safe community that people love to raise families in,” he said.