Representatives of Seward Changing the Game, which is leading the development of the Seward Wellness Center along with the City of Seward, presented an update of the progress on the new Seward Wellness Center, sharing the architect’s renderings of the facility, reporting on actions taken over the least 18 months, and giving an update on funding for the project, inviting Rotarians to give to the project to ensure groundbreaking this fall.
State Sen. Jana Hughes and Dr. Matt Dominy of Seward Changing the Game were joined by Joel Brase, Wellness Center Director, at the Club's August 16th meeting.
Senator Hughes introduced the visual concepts of the facility and noted it will be only a one story building, to save on costs.  She noted the affect that inflation has added to the costs and the $18 million project is now $21.5 million. Seward Changing the Game, which is leading the fundraising efforts, is out seeking donations to secure the $3.5 million still needed for construction.
The Wellness Center will be located across Waverly Road from the Seward Middle School with plenty of land, thanks to the donation of the Wake Family and the Wake Foundation.  It is also located on the walking trail and there will be flashing lights to assist the children across Waverly Road at the cross walk-similar to the lights at Memorial Health Care.  The entrance faces west on the property. 
The Wellness Center includes three gyms, a multipurpose room, a child care center and a mini track, along with a six lane indoor pool that also has a “current channel” for walkers to enjoy.  The pool will be 7 ft. to 4 ft. in depth and special private locker rooms will be offered.  There will be a “Cardio” area and Exercise Studio and a space for the Youth Center. The total square footage will be 50,380 square feet.
Dominy noted that BVH is the selected architect and Sampson is the designated contractor.  He said the bids are out and the plat is approved and re-zoned, with details being finalized. 
When asked about pricing, Hughes suggested that the prices will be less than or similar to the Lincoln YMCA prices and depend on the package sought.  She noted it would be family friendly and affordable and programs are in place to help those that cannot afford the fees-just like they are now with the various Seward Recreation programs. 
To date, more than $18 million has been secured for the project, including $7.5 million in gifts and pledge, $5 million from a State of Nebraska grant, and approximately $6 million projected from the City of Seward sales tax approved by the voters in May 2022.  Hughes noted that in addition to the $3.5 million that the leadership group is seeking to raise for construction, they are also seeking to establish a $3.5 million endowment that will address ongoing facility needs and improvements.  Overall, the City of Seward will be covering all operating costs of the Wellness Center.
“Our goal is to have the ground breaking the end of September, so we have some serious fund raising to do, but we will ‘get it done!’” shared Senator Hughes. “Individuals can contact anyone on the committee to discuss a gift or pledge.  Pledges can be up to five years in timed giving and stocks, bonds, even crops are accepted for the funding.  The Wellness Center website has all the information and can accept donations as well at”
Questions and answers followed by the members of the Rotary Club and the committee distributed new gift/pledge cards to the members. For more information contact “Seward Changing the Game,” 612 Seward Street, Seward, NE 68434 402-750-1281, or email or visit the website at