August 19, 2022


Health for a better future

Lourdes Health and Fitness Center brings new life to mall

Walking inside the brand-new Lourdes Health and Fitness Center, it’s easy to forget what once was. It was just a few years ago when the future of this site didn’t look good, as the former Sears Department store went out of business, leaving yet another vacancy in the Oakdale Mall.

Today, it’s home to one of the most state-of-the-art fitness centers in the region.

“You create your account, you log in, you can set the screen up to be your screen. NFL Ticket, satellite radio, satellite TV, Netflix, you can pick up where you left off in your series,” said Mark Powell, Lourdes Health and Fitness Center general manager.

For Powell, the journey has been a long one. As he brings us into the aquatics area, with multiple, salt water swimming pools, he reflects on one of his first jobs, working for Sears in this very building.

“30+ years later, I’m back into it. This is what used to be the ladies department. Now, it’s a three swimming pool aquatics center. It’s just a fantastic addition to the community and a good revitalization of this property,” said Powell.

With yoga classes in one room, and one on one training in another, this hospital-based fitness center is filling a need across the Southern Tier. And as more malls shutter throughout region, the Oakdale Mall is finding new life.

For Powell, the years of waiting were worth it.

“It just feels fantastic, finally our members having access to the fitness facility. As a matter of fact, when I arrived this morning at 4:15 a.m., our very first member waiting to work out was sitting outside waiting for us to open,” said Powell.

And being that it’s run by Lourdes, each member gets multiple one-on-one meetings with a registered nurse to make sure they’re meeting their goals.

“A lot of people when the come in, they just don’t know what to do our how to get to their fitness goals. We have the attendance and the ability in the programs to help everybody achieve their goals. But one you get to that goal, we also stay with you the entire time you’re here as a member,” said Powell.

The center has over 100 employees and also features free child care.