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I-S fitness center raises fees

Increases take effect in August

By Greg Seubert

Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center patrons will notice some fee increases that will take effect in August.

The Iola-Scandinavia School Board on July 12 approved center director Tim Welch’s request to increase some – but not all – fees to use the center, which includes an indoor swimming pool, leisure pool, whirlpool, gymnasium and fitness center.

“Generally, it’s 10% across the board,” Welch said. “Some of it is a few dollars here and there. The day passes stay the same.”

Welch compared the center’s fees to other area facilities.

“We were a little bit below some others, so it was time to take a look at that,” he said. “We’re in business and things continue to go up. We’re just keeping up.”

The increases will take effect Sunday, Aug. 1.

“That gives us a couple of weeks to get all the changes,” Welch said. “We’re tentatively getting some things ready, but we’re not going to go full bore until we at least talk to you, I answer your questions and I get a pulse from you as to how you feel about it.”

No increases for existing contracts

Center members that signed a contract for membership fees will not see an increase until that contract expires, Welch said.

“Nothing will change until your contract is up,” he said. “The contract’s the contract. It will be all new as of Aug. 1. We will not and cannot change that.”
Some members pay their fees yearly, while others pay by the month, Welch said.

“If you pay monthly, it’s $3,” he said. “We have people that pay for six months because senior citizens come and go. They’re here for part of the year and they go south. We do have a lot of everything.”

Welch said two weeks is enough time for his staff to prepare for the increases and said the new prices could be pushed back to Sept. 1 instead of Aug. 1.

Members that renew their contracts before the increases take effect can lock in the lower rate.

“They have that option,” Welch said.

An annual family membership fee to use the pool will increase from $234 to $260, while that fee for the fitness center will also increase from $234 to $260. A combination fee for both areas will increase from $342 to $380.

Adult, student and senior membership fees will also increase.

Attendance rising

Attendance at the center continues to increase, according to Welch.

“It’s been a lot better now that we’re back without the masks,” he said. “Last year, we couldn’t run swimming lessons and this year, we are. Those have been really good and we’re into our second session that just started today. Our first session was the third week in June with summer school.”

The biggest increase has been private swimming lessons, Welch said.

“When we had the covid situation and people were a little hesitant to be around other people, we still ran our private lessons,” he said. “That continued to really take off and has continued to grow. We’re getting people from Stevens Point coming over now, from Custer, Amherst, Waupaca, all over. We stayed with it as much as we could and as safely as we could.

“Our fees for that started out too reasonable,” he said. “We were at $12.50 for a half-hour lesson. We were so busy and I raised it to $15. We’re still below what they charge in Stevens Point, at about $20. Maybe next year, we’ll go somewhere in between there, maybe 18 (dollars) if the need is still there. We’ve had a lot of people wanting to take advantage of that for lots of different reasons.”

Meanwhile, participation in other classes such as water aerobics and water therapy is returning to normal.

“They’re really getting close to back-to-normal numbers,” Welch said.

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