The Hamburg Economic Development Team is looking to place a wellness center in Hamburg.
The all-volunteer team is also planning to paint a second mural as part of its beautification project for the city.
President Inez Barnes said there’s an obvious need for a wellness center in Hamburg.
“Ever since I went to Crossett, and I saw they had a wellness center, I said, ‘Why can’t Hamburg have one?’” she said.
Even though Crossett isn’t that far from Hamburg, it’s just far enough that actually being able to get to the wellness center there is difficult, Barnes said. That’s also true for people from Fountain Hill, Promise Land and Milo.
“We can support a wellness center here,” she said.
The effort began a year ago, and members of the team met with Ashley County Medical Center administrators to discuss what was needed to get a wellness center in Hamburg. The hospital got behind the effort, but not long after COVID-19 began to spread through the area and the plan stalled.
Now, however, the team has found a location for the wellness center — the former True Value building on the north end of the city.
Ashley County Quorum Court recently made a move to purchase the property, which is adjacent to the county yard, and has offered the HEDT space in the building.
The improvements won’t be easy, Barnes said, because it will need walls installed and the bathrooms will have to be brought in line with accessibility code.
“And,” she said, “there have been numerous families of raccoons having parties every night.”
When the facility is ready for the public, however, it will offer spaces for cardio exercises, lifting, spin and other health classes.
Barnes said part of what the group looked for in a building was space for an indoor walking facility.
As the project progresses, the HEDT will have some fundraising events and sales to support it. Those who want to donate to the effort now may do so using PayPal at email@example.com.
The new mural project is being organized by Jaque Hennington. The design for the mural — which features notable people and places associated with Hamburg — was contributed by local artists.
Local artists will also be part of installing it, Barnes said.
The mural will be installed on the northern wall of the Masonic lodge.
Donations to the mural project can also be made via PayPal.
The HEDT is a 501(c)3 incorporated non-profit, so all donations are tax deductible.