Early in the assessment and planning process, we realized that modifications to existing local facilities would not sufficiently address diverse needs. We must develop a truly unique solution that combines the resources of many organizations in a single location.
The STAR Center will eventually become a one-of-a-kind, universal-access adaptive fitness center open to all. Designed from the start to meet as many people’s needs as possible, the STAR Center will eliminate the need for facilities to be retrofitted for adaptive programming and adaptive recreation. The STAR Center will feature leading-edge adaptive fitness equipment and assistive equipment in four main areas:
- Activity Center with lap and therapy pools, a gymnasium, exercise studio strength and cardio area, specially equipped perimeter track, physical therapy rooms, a spin studio, a pediatric center and accessible locker rooms
- Life Center targeting other areas of wellness by offering education, job training, targeted programming and clinical teaching
- Disability Resource Center providing community resources, funding sources, service providers and clients in one convenient location.
- Veteran Center offering veterans support, recreation, community and convenient access to other STAR Center resources
For the first time, everyone will have access to equipment, instructions and resources previously available only in a medical setting. The STAR Center future facility will also house a variety of traditional aerobic and strength training equipment for those who do not require assistance or accommodation.
The STAR Center will research and report on the impact of health equity on those with disabilities or challenges to physical activity. Knowledge gained through this research will have a national impact on future public health policies, and allow La Crosse to become a leader in this important public health issue. Further, the STAR Center will serve as a blueprint for other communities and health organizations looking to address health equity, improve quality of life and decrease healthcare costs.