For eight years 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF) and Manchester Community Schools (MCS) have been party to a joint use agreement for the building Manchester Wellness Center (MWC) calls home. Their partnership has been a good one, providing an opportunity for many community members to find a home for connecting with friends while caring for their own health. School district employees, students and other have benefited from easy access.

Over the last few months, both organizations recognized an opportunity to change the school districts role and community impact through the Wellness Center. Manchester Community Schools will begin managing MWC on behalf of their community.

The idea bubbled up in both organizations simultaneously. Amy Heydlauff, CEO of 5 Healthy Towns Foundation endorses the idea. “An off-hand comment gathered steam as the school district began to image new ways to use the center. Since a focus of 5HF is building community ‘muscle’ and connections, how could we not endorse this kind of thinking?”

To facilitate the transition 5HF will donate computer hardware and all the existing fitness equipment to the school district. 5 Healthy Towns will also provide an annual grant to assure this will not create a financial hardship for MCS. The district has committed to maintaining existing hours without using the facility for school activities beyond the current schedule.

Membership rates will not change and MCS is working to secure a contract with Silver Sneakers so senior membership options will remain in place.

The formal transition will be effective April 1, 2020.  Reciprocal memberships with other 5HF wellness centers will be discontinued, however, Manchester Community Schools is working to identify options that enhance access to the facility and programs offered.   

“Our School Board is fully behind this move. The 5HF’s donation of equipment and continued grant funding will allow us to move forward without disruption.  The opportunities this provides our community, students and school system will certainly be a great benefit for all” said Tom Mann, MCS Board of Education President.

If you’re a member, we hope you’ll continue your membership. If you aren’t, it’s a good time to consider becoming one. “It’s the best bargain in town.” Said Jeffrey Wallace, Manchester Village Manager. “We’re lucky to have such a good facility in a small community.”