JANESVILLE

By June, Janesville could be the first Wisconsin community with an outdoor fitness court that would allow residents to work out for free.

National Fitness Campaign representatives approached city officials with an offer to build a 38-foot-by-38-foot outdoor court with 30 pieces of workout equipment.

Officials want to build the court downtown at the intersection of Court and River streets across from the town square, where it would be close to the YMCA and Ice Age Trail, said Paul Woodard, public works director.

“We thought it would be a good asset to have for the city of Janesville,” he said.

The city council Monday will consider borrowing $60,000 to build the court. The city typically spends about $80,000 a year on new and replacement playground equipment, Woodard said.

SSM Health would pledge $40,000 to the project, and National Fitness Campaign would kick in $10,000 to offset the $110,000 project cost, according to a memo to the council.

The court would draw people downtown and promote healthy living, Woodard said.

“The more activities you get downtown, the more people you can draw downtown,” he said.

The court also fits into the city’s strategic plan by promoting health and wellness. According to the Center for Disease Control, 67 percent of Rock County residents are overweight.

“Hopefully, this will help,” Woodard said.

The court consists of a concrete pad overlaid with rubber matting, similar to CAMDEN playground in Palmer Park. The equipment is built to last at least 20 years, according to the memo.

The court would include seven stations that can be completed in seven minutes, and up to 28 people can work out simultaneously. The court’s stations are progressive so people of all fitness levels can benefit from them, according to nationalfitnesscampaign.com.

The court would have 30 sturdy, stationary pieces of equipment bolted onto the concrete pad, such as blocks people can jump up on, said Terry Nolan, associate planner.

National Fitness Campaign has a mobile app residents can use to personalize workouts at the court, compete with friends and learn how to use the facility, Nolan said.

“It isn’t just a facility; it’s supposed to train you on how to use the pieces of equipment,” she said.

If the court is built, the city would hold a grand opening event, likely in June. The city, Rock County, National Fitness Campaign and other partners would team up to promote the court throughout the summer, Nolan said.

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