McKINNEY, TEXAS — The fastest growing city in the United States will soon have a new state-of-the-art fitness center. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the founder and chairman of the Cooper Aerobics Center, is building a second facility about 20 miles from Dallas in McKinney, TX.

After evaluating potential locations for 18 months, Cooper decided to build the new facility at Craig Ranch, a 2,000-acre development with a 18-hole golf course. The area will eventually include homes, townhomes, schools, hotels and medical offices.

“The way it will be designed is that you never have to leave Craig Ranch,” said Jason Barth, general manager for the Cooper Aerobics Center at Craig Ranch. “Dr. Cooper has been doing this for 30 years and has countless opportunities to expand. He decided to build it here because we're at the intersection of four cities, and it's a great area to get into.”

The construction team finished pouring the concrete slab for the 75,000 square foot facility and is now working on the steel erection. Barth said the $16 million construction project is on schedule.

When the center opens to the public in January 2006, it will feature a climbing wall, sand volleyball court, five group exercise studios, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a cooking demonstration kitchen. To cater the facility to families, the designers also included a family locker room, a circular 18-inch deep kids' swimming pool and a Kids' Youth Sport Court, which will feature children-sized strength-training equipment as well as an area to play sports.

Like the original facility, the new Cooper Aerobics Center will be medically based. When joining the facility, new members will have the opportunity to visit a doctor at the adjacent Cooper Clinic to undergo a clinical stress test, get their blood drawn, and do a body composition and body fat analysis. As part of their new member package, they can also meet with a personal trainer and use one of the spa services offered. In addition, the fitness center will be medically supervised, and a doctor will be on call in case of a medical emergency.

“It provides people with a safe place to work out,” said Barth. “They know that if something happens, we'll be there to handle the situation.”