Toyota planning new fitness center for employees, families

Columbus-based Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing once again is growing its already expanding local campus by adding a new physical fitness center later this year.

The local manufacturer broke ground on a new 35,000-foot fitness center, temporarily named the Toyota Active Life Center, earlier this month.

The nearly 1,500 employees, along with their families, who work at the North American headquarters for the forklift manufacturer will have free access to the center and its amenities, said Steve Pride, director of human resources training, customs and compliance.

The Active Life Center will offer the same amenities employees would find at a public gym, including an exercise room, indoor track, yoga room, recreation room and two indoor courts for basketball, volleyball and other sports. Fitness equipment including treadmills and free weights will also be available.

Aside from physical fitness, the center will also include a medical center designed to meet employees’ health needs. The center will be staffed to offer primary health care, wellness coaching, physical therapy and a full-line pharmacy. Those services will also be available to Toyota employees and their families for free.

The Active Life Center, which will be officially named through an internal company contest, will be its own building, separate from the $16 million expansion and renovation the company announced in August. The fitness center will be located in the southeastern portion of the campus at 5555 Inwood Drive, just north of the softball diamond, Pride said.

The expansion project that was announced last year will add a new cafeteria, storm shelter and locker room and two-story office building to serve as the new national headquarters for the Material Handling division on the 1.1 million-square-foot campus. Construction for that expansion is scheduled to be completed in July.

“It’s not just a place to work, we want to provide a whole atmosphere to continue to provide a healthy lifestyle,” Pride said.

Toyota chose not to announce the total cost to build the Active Life Center, Pride said.

Construction on the fitness facility is set to finish at the end of 2016, when the company will hold a grand opening ceremony.

About the fitness center

Name: Temporarily the Toyota Active Life Center, but will be renamed through an internal company contest

Location: Southeast portion of the TIEM Columbus campus at 5555 Inwood Drive

Amenities: Exercise room, indoor track, yoga room, recreation room, two indoor courts, treadmills, free weights, primary care, wellness coaching, physical therapy, pharmacy.

Users: All local Toyota employees and their families will have free access to the center

Size: 35,000 square feet, two stories

Timeline: Set to be completed in late 2016

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.