Paralympic medalist celebrates Turnstone expansion

Amy Purdy talks to NewsChannel 15

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Turnstone is set to break ground Friday morning on a $14 million expansion project and Paralympian Amy Purdy came to town to celebrate.

“Turnstone is incredible,” Purdy said. “To come here and meet members people doing wheelchair basketball and working out and using pool it brings it all to life and shows how important a facility like this is.”

Purdy won the bronze medal in the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi and was a finalist on the latest season of “Dancing with the Stars.” She lost her legs when she had bacterial meningitis at age 19 and now wears prosthetic legs and feet.

“I wasn’t sure at that point where I belonged or who to get back to the things I loved,” Purdy said. “To come to a place like Turnstone would have been amazing.”

Turnstone serves 2,200 people and their families. With the expansion, Nancy Louraine, CEO, expects that to double in about five years.

“We have more and more people who are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. They want to get involved in sports and recreation,” Louraine said. “The beauty of Turnstone is this is their place being built for them.”

The project will add a larger fieldhouse for track and basketball, a warm water pool for therapy and exercise and will double the size of the health and wellness center. It’s also all fully accessible.

“It will be barrier free. Not just environmental but in attitudes. This is their place and they need a place where they can thrive and be themselves,” Louraine said.

Which is why Purdy said was thrilled to be invited to help break ground.

“I believe inspiration is contagious. For people to come here and be inspired so they can follow their passions, that’s huge and I want to be a part of it,” she said.

Purdy also spoke with NewsChannel 15  live at 5 p.m. You can watch the video to see that interview.

Construction is expected to last about a year. The groundbreaking is Friday at 10:30 a.m.

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