Mercy rec center celebrates 5th birthday

Staff Report

A birthday bash will be held Sunday, Feb. 4 for the Mercy Health and Recreation Center, which is now five years old.

The party will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $3.50 per person.

There will be games, cake, a magic show, a balloon artist, and family swimming at the center located off Cooper Foster Park Road.

The News-Times was there in late January 2013 as the ribbon was cut at the facility’s pool and its walking track, weight and cardio machines, and spin and yoga rooms were opened to the public.

The site, once a soy bean field, was the vision of former Lorain County Metro Parks director Dan Martin and was made possible by the donation of land by the Hollstein family.

The recreation center had almost been built across the street from Steele High School in a plan involving demolition of Powers Elementary. Amherst was looking at a new school for kindergarten through fourth grade at the time and sought a partnership with the Lorain County Metro Parks to jointly run a facility.

In May 2011, voters turned down a 6.75-mill combination school-and-parks levy. When it failed, Martin went in search of private donors and found Mercy in need of more space for its therapy services.

Together, he and Mercy CEO Edwin Oley hatched a plan to build a 50,000-square-foot shared center. It allowed the health care provider to expand its physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and pediatrics services in a 5,000-square-foot area on the second floor.

Staff Report