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Portage Atlantic was proud to welcome representatives and supporters of the Lewis Fitness Centre Capital Campaign Committee, Portage staff members along with youth today for the official  opening of the new centre.

Since 1996, the 165 acre site has undergone a significant transformation, with the construction of new buildings completed in 2010 and the creation of the therapeutic Recovery Trail in 2013. The construction of the Lewis Fitness Centre is yet another exciting development for Portage Atlantic’s rehabilitation centre. Construction of the new centre began in April 2016 and the placement of the 10,715 sq. ft. centre allows natural light in the gymnasium and a view of the lake from the fully equipped weight/cardio room.  The existing activities, cross-country skiing, running, snowshoeing, bicycling and canoeing, for example, combined with the new activities to be held in the new centre will greatly improve the overall fitness programming.

At Portage, youth in treatment are encouraged to participate in daily recreational and physical activities as a way to help improve their social, emotional, and physical well-being. These activities enhance their treatment process as they are more receptive to Portage’s therapeutic techniques and have improved focus in the classrooms on-site.

“The addition of the Lewis Fitness Centre goes well beyond bricks and mortar for youth in treatment,” said Dr. Frank Wilson today at the ceremony, a close friend of the Late Dr. Bill Lewis, whose initial generous donation kick-started the Lewis Fitness Centre Capital Campaign in 2014.  “At the heart of all of the construction, meetings and decision making, are the young men and women working to overcome drug addiction and take back control of their lives; an accomplishment that takes incredible courage and determination.”

Dave Emmerson and André Vincent, co-chairs of the Lewis Fitness Centre Capital Campaign, said that the new permanent structure will benefit countless youth for many years to come.  They both agree the fitness centre will be a place where the youth’s interests in physical fitness will be re-awakened and that engagement in regular physical activity will help improve their focus in treatment and in school.