The Lifetime Wellness Center of Saltville is a subsidiary of the Smyth County Community Foundation and a satellite operation of the Lifetime Wellness Center of Marion with shared programs and instruction. It is a result of years of discussion about what to do with the former GCS Telecommunications building that was most recently used as the town maintenance shop while a new facility was being built.
Watkins helped in the design and operation of the center. Design features are by Marion architect Bill Huber, with construction by Wallberg Construction of Abingdon.
Watkins told the council during a presentation last year that he had always hoped to expand the Marion facility out into the community and Saltville was a perfect place to do that. The community is underserved in health and wellness and he said he sees a huge opportunity to serve the town and surrounding region.
“This is what happens when you have a partnership between the town, the Lifetime Wellness Center, the IDA, the Smyth County Community Foundation and United Salt,” said Mayor Young. “When we all get together it can be for the common good.”
“I’m pretty excited about it,” he added.
Features include a general fitness area with treadmills, weights and elliptical machines, locker rooms and restrooms, a half-court gymnasium separated from the workout areas but with windows so people can watch the action, a huge video screen and accompanying soundtrack for virtual class instruction, and a playroom for children of members.