Coeur d’Alene Tribe to build $15.8 million youth center

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Courtesy of MARIMN HEALTH A conceptual drawing of the proposed youth and family recreation center the Coeur d’Alene Tribe plans to build near Worley in 2019.

PLUMMER — The Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council has given the approval for its health care organization, Marimn Health, to construct a new youth and family recreation center.

The new youth center will be located on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Reservation near Worley, said a news release from Marimn Health.

The primary goal for the new building is to give the youth and families on the reservation a safe place to gather, learn, and have fun.

“There are many important needs in our community, but none more pressing than preserving and protecting the health and safety of our youth. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and investing in our youth is an investment in the future of the Tribe,” said Ernie Stensgar, chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

Last fall, Marimn Health partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County to bring Boys & Girls Club programs to the Coeur d’Alene Reservation on Friday and Saturday nights. The successful program has already outgrown the space provided at the Marimn Health Wellness Center.

From October 2017 through May 2018, 164 kids signed up for and participated in the Boys & Girls Club programs at the wellness center, 125 of whom are Native American. The new building would provide a dedicated space for youth programs like the Boys & Girls Club to expand operations and accommodate additional activities. The building is being designed by NAC Architects and has a preliminary budget of approximately $15.8 million. The facility will be built on tribal land and will be owned by the Tribe and Marimn Health.

The plans are still in the early stages and the project is not expected to break ground until 2019. The current design of the building includes a family waterpark, including a waterslide and indoor splash pad, children’s water toys, lazy river, lap lanes, and water climbing wall; outdoor sports fields, including a basketball court, softball/baseball, and football fields that can double as powwow grounds; outdoor playground for kids and pavilion and picnic area; fitness equipment and areas; ample dedicated space for youth programs, including Boys & Girls Club programs; adult recreation and hang out space; and child care.

“Building a facility like this is a major step toward our mission to effectuate lasting change in the overall health of our community,” said Helo Hancock, CEO of Marimn Health. “I have no doubt that this investment in prevention for the youth of our reservation will positively impact the future of our entire community for generations to come.”

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