Friday, April 19, 2024

New Wellness Center Approved for Blair Campus

The location of the proposed wellness center for Blair Academy is indicated in the lower right. Graphic courtesy of Blair Academy.

The Blairstown land use board gave a thumbs-up to Blair Academy for the construction of a health and wellness center on its campus. 

Formalized at its January 15 meeting, the approval for a use variance will allow Blair to build a 14,612-square-foot, three-story building. The center would consolidate several health and wellness services in several locations on the campus in a single venue, said James Frick, Blair’s chief operating officer. 

“The current facilities for the health center were built in 1950,” Frick said. He added that mental health counseling is in a separate building that used to be classrooms. The proposed building would bring those two services together and upgrade the facilities.

The building would include a health center where students can get medications they may be prescribed and a counseling floor devoted to mental health. 

Several overnight rooms will be part of the center, Frick said. He added that Blair has 24/7 nursing care on the campus and that doctors are available on campus several times a week. 

Frick said that because the center consolidating services that are already available at Blair, he did not expect the wellness center to need additional employees. 

The building will be constructed adjacent to the athletic facilities near the center of the campus.

James Kyle, a professional planner representing Blair, said that because the building will be located near the center of the campus it would not be visible from outside the campus. He explained that variances were required because all of the Blair property is zoned for residential. 

Anytime there is an expansion of any building on the campus, Kyle said, Blair must apply for a use variance. A variance was also needed for the height of the building, which at 52 feet, exceeds the 35-foot-high limitation for the zone.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.