EFFINGHAM — The Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Complex is looking at offering more membership options.

Workman Sports and Wellness Complex General Manager Patti Smith told the Effingham Park Board Wednesday that current regular membership at the complex totals 1,817, and a membership drive during the week of the Effingham County Fair brought in five additional memberships.

As of now, the complex staff is considering establishing new membership levels to include a youth membership for those 14 to 18 years old, a senior citizen membership for those who do not qualify for a Silver Sneakers membership, a college membership for college breaks and a couple’s membership for two people.

Smith said the complex is also looking at modifying lengths of membership contracts. The changes could create three- and six-month memberships and a year membership.

Smith also told the board Wednesday the complex is seeking coaches for its Jr. NBA program’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade group.

“For junior high, we have delayed the start of that because we don’t have enough coaches. We’ve got one coach for four teams,” Smith said.

Smith said she will become a coach, and she has asked two other people who are currently still deciding whether or not to take the positions.

The board also learned from Smith that the program “Couch to 5K” has kicked off at the complex. The program will help train participants for the Suicide Prevention Glow Run held at the facility grounds. Smith said all money raised from the 5-kilometer race will go toward purchasing suicide education films for the area high schools.

Board Secretary and Director Jeff Althoff updated the board on the progress of the ball diamonds at Evergreen Hollow Park. He said a ditch is being dug behind one of the softball fields to improve drainage of the field.

A portion of the fence in the outfield will also be replaced with a partly chain link, partly wooden fence. The fence will also be moved forward to increase chances of players hitting home runs, Althoff said.

“We’re moving the fence in a little bit. That way more people get a better chance of hitting a home run. A home run out there rarely happens,” Althoff said.

Althoff said park district crews have also cleared some trees around the park and have trimmed back limbs that were over the Evergreen Hollow Park playground. Ground around Harmony Playground has been tilled for a third attempt at planting grass around the playground and pavilion areas.

In other matters, the board:

  • Approved payment of bills, including a purchase of a 2017 Ford F-150 from NorthSide Ford. Board treasurer Anita Broom said the park district traded in a 2006 Dodge Dakota and paid $22,000 for the F-150 altogether with the trade in and fees.
  • Tabled a report on the park district’s Adventure Camp so more numbers could be totaled.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at kaitlin.cordes@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151 ext. 132.


Kaitlin Cordes covers Effingham County, police and courts and sports features for the Effingham Daily News. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University. Cordes is a native of Effingham.

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