ST. PAUL, Neb., — A project that has been in the making for 10 years is finally seeing light in Howard County. 

Construction is underway on a new therapy wellness center next to the Howard County Medical Center. 

Howard County Medical Center CEO Arlan Johnson said he’s excited about the project. 

“This is a big culmination if anything," Johnson said. "I’ve been with the facility 17 years, and we have been, again, talking about this project for a long time. It’ll really be an accomplishment not only for myself but for my team here at the facility to get this built.”

The $8 million, 17,000 sq. ft. building will have exercise equipment and a swimming pool. It will offer physical, occupational, and speech therapy services, a pediatric room and a walking track. The public will be able to buy memberships to use the track at any time.

Johnson said the wellness center will benefit the community. 

“The medical center here in Howard County, is the biggest employer, or the huge financial driver, in this community and this will give people the opportunity, we’ll probably add another five jobs with this facility from that standpoint," Johnson said. "But it’ll be a situation where you go see your primary care provider here at the clinic and they’ll be able to refer you to services that we’re going to be offering in this, that we didn’t have before. It’s one thing when you try to change people’s wellness habits you have to make it convenient for them to do that, and that’s what we were going to be able to do.”

Howard County Medical Center contributed about $3 million to the project, their foundation has raised over $1 million and the rest will be funded through donations. 

The building is expected to open by March of next year.