Construction on the Blythe Family Fitness building continues on the inside with an  anticipated completion date sometime in July.


Construction on the Blythe Family Fitness building continues on the inside with an  anticipated completion date sometime in July.

“We will be open and settled in before school starts this fall,” said Zach Deeds, project coordinator.

The heating and air conditioning are expected to go in within the next 10 days.

Crews are busy with a variety of other tasks including making the superstructure for the basket ball goals for the basketball courts and installing the framework for the plywood in the basketball and tennis court area, said John Paul Jorns, owner of Jorns Construction, the primary contractor for the project.

Other framing is going up for drywall as well.

Sheeting the walls with plywood is expected to start in the next couple of weeks. The first 14 feet of the plywood above the floor will be covered in carpet as a safety feature for customers and help with sound control.

The inside of the walls are covered with about 2.5 inches of spray insulation for environmental efficiency.

About two weeks after the plywood goes up, electricians will install the lights followed by about a foot more insulation in the roof then ceiling panels will be installed, Jorns said.

The project hasn’t had any big surprises or hitches but it has taken some time to meet all the regulations necessary for a building that will be a public facility.

“There’s a lot of facets to this building,” Jorns said.

The overall progress on the facility is at or ahead the schedule established by Jorns Construction, Deeds said.

The Blythe family has been very pleased with the quality of the project.

“The quality of work and craftsmanship of Jorns Construction is excellent,” Deeds said.

Essential elements, like the development of the parking lot, have been added to the project.

The family is very grateful to Alan Luttrell of EBH for helping deal with stringent federal regulations for flood plains and water management.

Once the building is complete the next challenge will be the transition from the current location in the Jetts building to the new location. Deeds doesn’t foresee any problems with the move under the leadership of Kristina and Leon Kaufman and the help of loyal gym patrons. Grand opening plans are underway and will be announced at a later date.

Once the facility is up and running, the two main goals of Blythe Family Fitness are to encourage and increase usage of the facility and for it to continue to pay for itself, Deeds said.

Another hope is that the facility will be more than self-sufficient and be able to provide scholarships for those in need. They also want to continue improving the facility and programming.

The response from the community for the project has been a key factor in the success of the project.

“The fact that a project like this, in a town our size, is funded with over 94 percent private donation is amazing,” Deeds said. “I am proud of the community-minded private donors of the Pratt area who have ‘stepped up’ and made this project happen.”

Blythe Family Fitness functions operationally and financially on its own independent of any other private or public entity, Deeds said.

While they are independent, the continued success is dependent on collaboration with various public and private entities including city, schools, county and hospital.

As part of the continuing development, Tracy Ballard has fitness classes for children that are well received and full.

“The staff and I are very excited with the future plans of Blythe Family Fitness. It’s a lot like Christmas in that it can’t come fast enough for us,” Kristina said. “We look forward to providing new opportunities and improved personal training. Business is great; the last four months have been the best of my experience.”