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Fitness center plans upset some Lincoln Hills residents

Issue still in research stage, executive director says
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Know and Go:

What: Lincoln Hills Community Association Board meeting

When: 9 a.m. April 26

Where: Kilaga Springs Lodge, 965 Orchard Creek Lane

A proposal to expand the Sun City Lincoln Hills’ fitness program, including possible construction of a new center, has some residents of the community upset.

Ruth Braun, a Lincoln Hills resident, said Friday that she and others are concerned about the process of approving the expansion of the program, specifically the direction being taken by Sun City Lincoln Hills Community Association President Marcia Van Wagner and the association’s executive director Chris O’Keefe.

“It seems like the president is deciding on behalf of all of us what’s going to happen,” Braun said. “They feel it’s in the best interest (of the community) to build a whole new fitness center.”

Braun said she hopes the issue will be brought up at the association’s next meeting on April 26.

“A majority of the people here are against expanding the fitness program,” Braun said. “I hope it will be revisited at the next meeting.”

However, O’Keefe on Wednesday said plans for the community’s fitness programs are still in the research and discussion stage. O’Keefe added that he does not think the issue will be on the agenda for the April 26 meeting but will likely be on the agenda for the June meeting.

“We have a very proactive fitness director, Deborah McIlvain, who put together a plan to expand the fitness program and bring in new classes to support the concept of wellness,” O’Keefe said. “She wants to bring in classes that promote functional fitness. She reached out to the community and received some pushback.”

O’Keefe added that a popular Pilates class is located in a room that is no longer adequate.

“We are trying to put out as much information to the community and the boards so they can make a reasonable decision,” O’Keefe said. “We don’t want to put together something and find out we missed an opportunity that could have been addressed in the original scope of work.”

“When we have a plan in place, it will have to go through our process of workshops and committee meetings. There is nothing sinister here,” O’Keefe added. “We have the best fitness director in the area and an entire team committed to improving the health of our residents.”