A Cleveland County wellness project is on schedule to open in September as construction crews finished laying the steel on the two-story community building earlier this month.
Last Thursday, Cleveland County held a topping out ceremony, a celebration of laying the final steel beam in the frame of the 14,000-square foot wellness center.
The Well, located in downtown Norman on the 200 block of James Garner Avenue, will be home to a Norman Regional Health Clinic, fitness classes, cooking classes and eventually, the Norman Farm Market in 2022.
A part of Cleveland County’s Master Plan signed by Cleveland County commissioners in September 2017, The Well is intended to be an all-in-one destination, said Melody Bays, executive director of The Well.
“People will be able to shop, learn, play and exercise to improve their health and wellness,” Bays said.
Bays said county commissioners envisioned the center as a place for any resident, regardless of income or background, to have access to tools and programs they need to better their health.
“We’ve spent the last few years talking to committee stakeholders and the general public (about) who will be in the space, like our foreign market vendors, trying to get their input and they’ve been very responsive,” Bays said. “We’ve taken a lot of those ideas and implemented them into what you kind of see unfolding now.”
Bays said the hope is to make the programs within the space free or low cost, as the team behind The Well doesn’t want socioeconomic status to be a barrier in accessing health and wellness services.
“We may want to get information from people so that we can see how well something’s doing, like a class or a specific program, so we can track some of the data and get some metrics, but not for a monthly membership or anything like that,” Bays said.
While there won’t be physical activity equipment at The Well, Bays said there will be fitness classes for yoga and high intensity-interval training on the second floor.
As physical activity is only one aspect of health, nutrition will also be a focus in The Well’s programming.
The kitchen in the center will be sponsored by Moore Norman Technology Center, which will facilitate programming like cooking demonstrations and classes, Bays said.
“We just wanted to create an additional access point and they were excited to do that with us,” Bays said.
A Norman Regional Health Clinic called Health at The Well will also be in the space. Bays said health care providers will provide services on a rotating weekly basis.
Professional development assistance classes will be available on occasion, Bays said. The county looks to partner with the OU Innovation Hub, and the Pioneer Library System plans to provide programming in the space.
In 2022, the Norman Farm Market will have a new home at The Well. The 4,000-square-foot space will be four-sided, with optical garage doors that can be raised when weather permits or closed during cooler months.
“If the demand is there in Cleveland County, we’ll have the opportunity in the future to be able to do a year-round market, which we don’t currently have, so we’re hopeful that most of our vendors will move over with us,” Bays said.
Bays said The Well will be a space where people can take an all-encompassing approach to their wellness.
“We have a lot of green space outside and walkable space for outdoor events as well,” Bays said.
For more information on The Well, including a site map, renderings, vendor lists, businesses and services, visit thewellok.org.