U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced that he has secured an additional $250,000 toward construction of the Appalachian Rural Wellness Center, a health and wellness facility in Barbourville. This funding was included in the FY 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill which passed the House of Representatives on July 23, 2009.
“Significant progress has been made this year toward bringing a community wellness center to Knox County and this is an important next step,” said Rogers. “This construction funding, coupled with previous federal, state and local investments, will bring a top-notch work-out facility to Barbourville residence. As medical bills increase, being physically fit is more important than ever toward keeping medical costs low and raising healthy families. I’m confident this facility, when completed, will promote and encourage active lifestyles. It should be noted that through a unique and lasting partnership of the City of Barbourville, Knox County Fiscal Court, Union College, and KCEOC, we’re making important strides to improve the quality of life in our region.”
The proposed $15 million Barbourville health and wellness facility, The Robert Stivers, II Appalachian Rural Wellness Initiative Center, would be the first of its kind in the region. The initial groundbreaking, foundation work, and site preparation for the Center began in October 2006, located on Barner Lane in Barbourville. The initial $7.2 million phase will include a 50-meter pool, therapy pool, small workout area and locker rooms with remaining phases to include facility expansion and enhancement. Facility staffing and operations will eventually be handled by Union College. The funding for the Center includes a variety of private investment, state coal severance, Appalachian Regional Commission grant funds, tax credits and $1,775,000 secured by Congressman Rogers since 2002.
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers works to secure funding for important initiatives in the fifth Congressional District.