What’s In Store for Winter Park’s Center for Health & Wellbeing?

The new Winter Park Center for Health & Well Being is going to be opening in early 2019. This new health and fitness facility will be replacing the Crosby YMCA in Winter Park. Residents of Winter Park and surrounding areas will have a new place that is dedicated to health and wellness. 

The 80,000-square-foot Center for Health & Wellbeing is expected to open by late February, officials said after a media hard-hat tour on Wednesday.

“It’s a one-stop shop to stay healthy and stay whole,” said Deb Watson, executive vice president of Winter Park Health Foundation, which is the developer and primary owner of the facility. “It’s not like your typical fitness center. … We knew we needed to renovate [the old facility] because it was aging. Together, with our partner, we thought ‘let’s build something bigger and grander.’”


Rendering of the Center for Health & Wellbeing (Winter Park Health Foundation / Florida Hospital)

At the heart of the center is The Commons, which includes a conference center for educational programs and private events. To the left are the cafe area, a demonstration kitchen and the kids’ corner. And to the right is Florida Hospital’s Medical Plaza, which includes primary care and specialty offices, lab, pharmacy, sports medicine, rehab and acupuncture and massage services.

“Because that’s when chronic disease sets it, whether it’s genetic or lifestyle,” said Jennifer Wandersleben, administrator for Winter Park Memorial Hospital, which is part of Florida Hospital. “We want to keep people healthy and out of the hospital, and that age group is more prone to chronic diseases.”

The Commons leads to the Crosby Wellness Center, which features an indoor lap pool and an activity pool along with other fitness amenities. There’s a walking track on the second floor.


Rendering of the Center for Health & Wellbeing (Winter Park Health Foundation / Florida Hospital)

The Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center on Mizell Avenue closed in December 2016 after nearly three decades. The 37,00-square-foot facility had nearly 1,800 members.

The center was demolished the following year to make way for the construction of the new facility.

Meanwhile, Winter Park Health Foundation parted ways with the YMCA, which ran the fitness facility, and began looking for a new company to operate its new fitness center.

Members, staff, bid bittersweet farewell to Winter Park's Crosby YMCA


It ultimately chose Power Wellness, a Chicago-based company specializing in medical fitness, to run the facility.

A medical fitness center uses an individual’s unique medical profile as a baseline to determine how to best serve the member. Unlike other fitness centers, a certified medical fitness facility has medical oversight and is required to have programs and services that help members transition between rehab and fitness.

“If necessary, you get a referral from a doctor to exercise there. The staff members work with doctors to make sure that patients are being taken care of and share data on their fitness journey,” said Watson.

Although the fitness center requires a membership — with monthly fees ranging from $48 to $139 — the indoor walking track is open to the public. So are the coffee bar, the kitchen and the 2.5-mile path that weaves through six gardens surrounding the center.

“We like to say it’s a community center, focused on health and well-being,” said Watson.

Watson said 1,100 people have pre-enrolled at the fitness center, including many former members.

“Our oldest member when we reopen will be 102 and she’s been a member since 1989,” when the original Crosby center opened, Watson said.


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