WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren City Schools secured funding toward building a new recreation and wellness center.

“It was an amazing day when we found out that we were approved for the ARP funding to help fund the recreation wellness center here in the Warren City Schools,” said Warren City Schools superintendent Steve Chiaro.

The Ohio Department of Education approved a $12.5 million grant that will pay the bulk of the estimated $15 million for the new wellness center set to be built at the high school.

“There’s no additional tax coming as a result of this. The center is fully funded not just between the ARP dollars but also the funding that we have put aside in advance in preparation of the project,” said Chiaro.

The center will focus on the needs of the whole child, so part of the vision will include addressing the barriers and concerns brought to light through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It looks at the social-emotional well-being of our students, and we’ll have health options for our kids, and mental health and well-being opportunities. We’re really looking at it through the wellness lens,” said Chiaro.

Chiaro said the center will be accessible to all students in Warren.

There may be opportunities for the community to utilize it too, as the school district is looking at working with medical providers.

“This wellness center is going to be transformational for the city of Warren, for our students first as well as the entire community,” said Chiaro.

The district is looking to break ground later this spring or early summer and hopes to complete the project by August 2023.