EFFINGHAM — A $6.1 million donation by Dr. Richard and Angie Workman is leading the way for a new 60,000-square-foot sports complex.
Workman, founder and CEO of Heartland Dental Care, announced his plans at Keller Convention Center Friday evening after receiving the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation 2013 Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropist Award. Of the donation to the foundation, $5 million will go toward the proposed Richard E. Workman Sports Complex and Wellness Center. The complex, which will be overseen by the Effingham Park District, will be located at the northwest corner of Maple Street, just past Kluthe Memorial Pool.
“Growing up in this area myself, I'm thrilled to continually give back to this wonderful community,” said Workman. “The people who live and work in this area are hardworking, honest, friendly and industrious.”
According to Park District Board President David McDevitt, the proposed complex will be located on a 22-acre lot the city transferred to the park district.
“When someone steps forward with a gift of this magnitude, we as a community, have an obligation to make the project happen,” said McDevitt.
Preliminary plans for the complex include two basketball courts, three full-sized volleyball courts and an aquatic center that will include two pools. One pool will be an eight-lane competitive pool, while the other will be a recreation/therapy pool, said McDevitt. In other areas of the facility, there will be a gym with weights and treadmills, a studio for various aerobic classes, an elevated walking track on the second level and some additional space for a potential tenant.
The donation is being administered through Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation.
“It is an awesome opportunity for the community,” said foundation Director Joedy Hightower. “It's going to be a facility that any person of any age can go and get exercise.”