The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is building a new 32,000-square-foot youth center that will provide a safe place for youth and families to hang out and have fun.
This week, project leaders celebrated groundbreaking on the Marimn Health Youth Center, which will be built near Worley and include a wing for the Boys and Girls Club of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, in addition to lots of other space for family-friendly activities.
The facility, expected to open in fall 2020, will also include: a family waterpark with a waterslide, an indoor splash pad, a lazy river, and lap lanes; a gymnasium; a picnic area; outdoor basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, and a football field that can also serve as powwow grounds.
For years, Marimn Health, the tribe's wellness center, has provided youth programs, explains Heather Keen, Marimn Health's strategic development director.
"But we've never really had a dedicated place for our youth to go," Keen says. "We've been doing a lot of stuff on the treatment side of health care, but this is a way to look at the prevention side, especially for our youth."
The hope is to create a place where young people can make art, learn, participate in fun activities, and exercise, all to build healthy habits, Keen explains. As with existing programs, the center will be open to Native and non-Native kids alike.
"If we can keep them healthier earlier in their lifetime, and we can get them some good habits, solid mentors and a safe place to be in the evenings after school and on weekends," she says, "hopefully we can help them build a brighter future."
The work will build on a history of leading in health care, Keen writes by email, providing more background:
"The Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Marimn Health have a history of progressive solutions that serve the greater community — the Medical Center, which opened in 1990 as the Benewah Medical Center, was the first tribal health facility to partner with [the federal Department of Health and Human Services] to open its services to both native and non-Native patients in the nation. The Wellness Center, built in 1998, serves both tribal and non-tribal community members and includes youth programs and youth sports that are also open to all kids in the community.
Marimn Health will open the Youth Center in the fall of 2020. The building will be roughly 32,000 square feet, located near Worley, Idaho. The Youth Center will be open to anyone in the community who wants to use the facility, and the Youth Sports, Boys & Girls Club of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and other programs and activities through the Youth Center will be open all youth in the community."
See below for more renderings of what the facility is planned to look like.