Spokane Journal of Business

Touchmark South Hill to develop fitness center

Company in early stages of planning new facility

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Touchmark on South Hill Retirement Community is in the early planning stages for development of a 13,000-square-foot health and fitness center on its 20-acre campus on the South Hill. 

Jeffrey P. Bair, executive director of Touchmark South Hill, says the company has had preliminary meetings with the city of Spokane about the concept for the center, developed by Touchmark architects, but hasn’t selected an outside architect or construction company at this point. The estimated cost of the project is listed at $2.6 million in its Spokane city planning department application, although Bair says the total cost of the project is yet to be determined. 

As envisioned, the health and fitness center would include studio space for fitness classes, a heated indoor pool, a small bistro or dining area, and other multifunction spaces for meetings. It also would include some type of pickle ball court or space for another type of outdoor game, Bair says. 

The health and fitness center would be developed for use by Touchmark residents, staff and potential residents, he adds. A specific site for the center hasn’t been chosen, although Bair indicates the new facility would connect to main pathways that currently serve the campus. “We are still determining the best location on campus for this center,” Bair says. “We have several parcels around campus that we could build out.” He says a decision on the fitness center’s location will be made in upcoming months. 

Touchmark’s South Hill campus at 2929 S. Waterford Drive includes several housing options for those over 55, including more than 300 single-family retirement homes of 1,200 to 2,200 square feet. It also offers 100 apartments with 500 to 1,600 square feet of floor space for residents who don’t require any health services, and 80 assisted-living apartments that include various levels of caregiving. Other living options include memory-care living arrangements, skilled nursing and rehab facilities.

Bair says Touchmark’s existing programs for health and fitness are very popular with residents and staff alike, and the company is moving toward providing more space for growing programs. 

“Research shows the importance of fitness and its impact on longer, healthier lives,” he says. “We’re committed to offering everything we can in that arena. We want to stay ahead of the growth.”

The facility currently offers an exercise studio for seniors and a 600-square-foot fitness studio where fitness classes are held, as well as massage therapy space, and space for personal trainers. 

“There is a lot of participation and enthusiasm in health and fitness by both residents and staff,” he says.  

Touchmark South Hill is one of 11 retirement complexes in eight U.S. states and Canada the Touchmark Corp. owns and operates. More than 2,600 people live in those Touchmark communities. The Touchmark Corp. says it employs more than 1,750 people throughout its properties. 

Judith  Spitzer
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Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

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