City of Norman to break ground on Norman Forward Senior Wellness Center

Community members are invited to join city leaders to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Senior Wellness Center on Nov. 1 at the Norman Regional Health System’s (NRHS) Porter Campus.


The event will begin at 5 p.m. at the southeast corner of the complex; citizens are advised to take E. Rich Street to access N. Porter Avenue and enter the southeast parking lot.


“We hope residents come out and join us in celebrating this important milestone in the project and hear more about what’s to come,” said Jason Olsen, City of Norman Parks and Recreation Director.


The center is a Norman Forward project – a voter-approved special sales tax initiative passed in 2015 – and is currently projected to cost $12.4 million, with $8.5 million funded by Norman Forward and $3.9 million coming from CARES Act funds. The City of Norman has signed a memorandum of understanding with Healthy Living & Fitness, Inc., a non-profit that currently operates the first MAPS 3 Senior Health and Wellness Center in Oklahoma City, to operate the center when it opens.


The 30,000 sq. ft. center is set to include an indoor walking track and multiple fitness areas with locker rooms, multipurpose and art specific classrooms as well as lounge areas, a full kitchen for events and programming, outdoor pickleball courts and a lap pool. The center will be membership based on a sliding scale so that residents of all socioeconomic levels may enjoy the facility.


Claire Dowers-Nichols, Executive Director of Healthy Living & Fitness, Inc. is eager to bring their successful wellness center model to Norman residents after exceeding expectations enough to require a center expansion in North Oklahoma City.


“There’s a need across the nation for innovative programming for active, older adults,” Dowers-Nichols said. “Programming at the new center in Norman will be member-driven and based on the six dimensions of wellness to include: Vocational, Emotional, Intellectual, Physical, Social, and Spiritual Wellness. We’ll be working with the community to find out how we can best serve their wellness needs.”


Mayor Breea Clark also shared that the center will provide a much-needed space for Norman’s active adults.


“I want to thank Norman residents for passing Norman Forward back in 2015 and being willing to provide valuable feedback during the design phases of this project,” Mayor Clark said. “This has truly been a community effort and hopefully residents will come out and celebrate getting work started on this exciting project!”


For more information, contact the Norman Parks and Recreation Department at 405-366-5472 or visit