Lester Buresh Community Wellness Center in Mount Vernon nearing completion

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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - After 20 years in the making, a project is almost done in Our Town Mount Vernon. It's the new Lester Buresh Community Wellness Center that's under construction.

"The building itself is the essence of Mount Vernon," said Mount Vernon City Administrator Chris Nobisch. "So it's not just a wellness center and it's not a community center. It really is both."

The nearly 34,000 square foot facility is going up near Mount Vernon's high school and middle school. The center will include a basketball court, a walking track, workout equipment, yoga and other fitness areas, a rock wall, batting cages and much more.

"We have artwork that's going to be part of this. We have outdoor instruments that are going to be part of this," said Nobisch. "Keeping it close to the school district and branching off and allowing for before and after school programs was imperative."

The new center will bear the name of Lester Buresh, a prominent businessman and former Mount Vernon city council member who died in 2004.

His brother, Ernie Buresh, donated $1 million, sparking a fundraising effort for the nearly $8.6 million project.

When it's finished later this year, it'll offer something for everyone, young and old.

"I think the end goal was to make sure we were as inclusive as we could possibly be. And I think, when you get to tour the building when it's finally open, you'll see that we've accomplished that goal as much as we could."