Highlands Sports Complex WELL


Community Concept Intent

The WELL Community concept aims to support access to essential healthcare, workplace health promotion and accommodations for new parents while establishing an inclusive, integrated community through social equity, civic engagement and accessible design. 

C01: Health and Wellness Awareness

Focus: to promote deeper understanding of factors that impact human health and well-being.

Why it's Important:

Health literacy is influenced by a host of personal, sociocultural and system-level factors. These include age, socioeconomic status, mental health, cultural background, language and communication abilities, prior health experiences and how healthcare delivery and education systems deliver care, health information and health education. The link between health literacy and health outcomes has been documented at a global scale and is considered one of the key factors contributing to health disparities. Low health literacy has been linked to lower use of preventive care (e.g., flu shots), poor management of chronic conditions (e.g., high blood pressure) and lower self-reported health. These adverse outcomes have enormous economic implications. It is estimated that low health literacy costs the U.S. economy $100-240 billion each year. By supporting awareness of health and wellness programs and policies and enhancing health literacy, projects can encourage engagement in WELL features and support overall health and well-being.   

How We Achieve It:

The development of this WELL Feature Guide that showcases the achievements in addressing human health and well-being through at Highlands Sports Complex. Annual communications and outreach using the power of the Internet as well as internal communications networks updates staff, visitors, and the community at-large of these achievements. This guide showcases health education, resources, and policies available at the complex.


All staff, visitors, and the public are offered a digital library of health and wellness materials on our website and on education monitors placed throughout the complex and focused on a variety of evidence-based educational materials on topics relevant to our facilities pertinent to our occupants and to our community at-large.

C02: Integrative Design

Focus: to facilitate a collaborative development process and ensure adherence to collective wellness goals.

Why it's Important:

Many communities face an array of challenges due to the exclusion of local residents from planning and development decision-making processes. Projects that do not consult residents often either do not serve community needs or may even negatively impact the health and well-being of local populations. In particular, low-income, minority and tribal populations are most often excluded from development discussions and are disproportionately impacted by resulting problems such as poor health conditions, lower community engagement, lack of access to opportunities and services, rising costs of living, increased displacement and higher levels of pollution and crime. Collecting stakeholder input can help the project identify and address the essential components of a WELL project, including the ten concepts of WELL, while celebrating local culture and place, which reinforces a project’s unique culture and identity and enriches the space for occupants and visitors. A stakeholder input process supports the project as it develops and progresses toward its health and well-being goals, creating a space that meets the needs of all stakeholders.

How We Do It:

Highlands Sports Complex and their partners have engaged all stakeholders in project planning charette and updated new members of the project team as they joined. Project team members includes SFM’s onsite and national management team along with architects, WELL project team members, engineers, building owners, and maintenance and operations staff. Meetings and updates were attended by stakeholders bi-weekly and orientation to WELL concepts were integrated throughout the completion of the project.

As a major part of the WELL project, SFM and designers addressed a celebration of culture and community, our place through retaining local artists focused on health and wellness and our sense of place in the Ohio Valley, and a real focus on happiness and delight in all aspects of our design. Highlands Sports Complex is a fun place to be.

SFM has adopted a comprehensive mission that focuses on our commitment to WELL concepts and features and the operations and maintenance of our facilities and tied to its impact on our building and facilities’ occupants.

AUROS Group provided the charette structure and facilitated a stakeholder orientation onsite for all stakeholders in the project and well as provides ongoing support for the complex.

C06: Health Promotion

Focus: to cultivate a culture that prioritizes the health and well-being of all individuals.

Why it's Important:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation defines a culture of health as “a society that gives all individuals an equal opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible, whatever their ethnic, geographic, racial, socioeconomic or physical circumstances happen to be.” Workplaces have the potential to promote and encourage healthy behaviors. However, if employees are unaware of the health promotion opportunities available to them, they are unlikely to participate. Employer-based wellness initiatives, such as programs that offer access to immunization, health risk assessments, health education resources and caregiver support, can both improve employee health and results in substantial employer savings over the short- and long-term. Research finds that medical and absenteeism costs fall by about USD $3.27 and USD $2.73, respectively, for every dollar spent on workplace health programs. Successful workplace health promotion programs can improve job satisfaction, sense of well-being, self-esteem and overall health status, and reduce stress and health risks. Organizational benefits include lower healthcare costs and absenteeism and improved productivity, recruitment, retention, culture and employee morale.

What We Do:

In our effort to support our employees, SFM is instituting a program whereby employees are given the opportunity for support from our professional staff of trainers to increase physical activity through our team.


Highlands Sports Complex management will provide the “Highlands Challenge”, incentivizing the staff to participate in healthy initiatives ranging from walking challenges to healthy eating challenges to weight management challenges.


At no cost to Team Members, SFM will support both:


  • Organized group physical activity opportunities.
  • Individualized instruction in working out and becoming more active.

These events are available at least once per week at the Fitness Center. The Fitness Center Manager employment contract includes the duties of coordinating all workplace wellness programming, challenges, and wellness promotion.

C09: New Mother Support

Focus: to provide spaces and policies that encourage and support breastfeeding.

Why it's Important:

New mothers represent a significant segment of the global labor force, and postpartum care is essential to the health of breastfeeding women and their babies. Breastfeeding is widely recognized as the best source of nutrition to support the optimal growth and development of infants. The World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding during an infant’s first six months of life, as it is associated with a reduction in the risk of infections, type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity. For mothers, breastfeeding can help reduce both postpartum weight retention and the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Research shows that a lack of workplace accommodations contributes to shorter breastfeeding duration or leads to a decrease in milk supply, resulting in early weaning.  Supportive breastfeeding programs and spaces can help nursing mothers return to work and promote an environment that prioritizes the health and well-being of women and children. Breastfeeding programs can decrease healthcare expenses for mothers and children, reduce employee absences associated with caring for a sick child, increase earlier returns from maternity leave and significantly increase retention among female employees. By supporting breastfeeding, projects can reduce risk for short-and long-term health issues in both mothers and children, which benefits families, employers and society in general. 

What We Provide:

Sports Facility Management supports new mothers who are breastfeeding their young children. Nutrition and health are enhanced by breastfeeding and so we’ve put together a policy ensuring the availability of this support:


  • Designated wellness / lactation room that is separate from bathrooms
  • Paid 15-minute breaks for pumping whenever necessary for the mother up to 3 times a day and with flexibility built into the policy based on individual needs of mothers
  • SFM purchases a hospital grade electric breast pump when needed and is certified for multiple users.
  • Access to sinks, faucets, soap and paper towel dispenser for mothers separate from bathrooms but may be in a designated lactation setting.
  • Access to a refrigerator with dedicated space for milk storage based on needed space

C11: Civic Engagement

Focus: to encourage the creation of opportunities for individuals to become actively involved in and connected to the surrounding community through engagement and volunteerism.

Why it's Important:

Millennials (those born after 1982) represent an increasingly large segment of the workforce, yet surveys find that one in four millennials plan to quit their current employer in the next year. This lack of retention often stems from employee perception that company goals do not extend beyond profit. Companies that do not demonstrate stronger social values through community engagement initiatives experience lower employee morale, engagement, pride and productivity compared to companies that provide civic engagement opportunities like community volunteering.   Providing opportunities for civic engagement can help create a positive, socially responsible work culture, enhance employee retention and organizational reputation and make a positive contribution to the local community. Purpose-driven companies that practice civic engagement through charitable contributions outperform counterparts in terms of business performance. Team volunteering and community engagement opportunities have been shown to enhance employee loyalty, team bonding, employee engagement and work satisfaction. Surveys have found that millennials are 24% more likely to recommend their workplace if the employer provides volunteer opportunities and that employees who participate in community engagement have 13% higher morale.

How We Achieve This:

Sports Facility Management believes that if we want to be a hub for community activities, we also need to promote civic engagement in our employees’ work and daily lives. As a part of our continued vision for a vibrant community, SFM is implement the following as encouragement for our employees to engage in the community:

  • Paid time off to participate in at least 16 hours annually for civic engagement. Of that 16 hours, 8 of them will be planned by SFM for a charity or non-profit approved of by the employer
  • Sports Facilities Management will provide lists of volunteer opportunities in our community and will designate at least one opportunity per month for employees to engage. An ongoing list of opportunities will be available for employees.

Because Sports Facilities Management believes in engagement in democratic elections, SFM will provide the following opportunities for all employees:

  • Reminders of upcoming local, state, and national elections and how to register
  • Invite the Ohio County Clerk’s office and the County Election Coordinator to provide voter registration on site at the Highlands, opening registration to visitors
  • Reminders for deadlines for absentee ballot submission and early voting deadline.
  • Provide guidance on voting stations/precincts

Leave for employees to vote in national, state and local elections

C16: Community Access and Engagement

Focus: to provide public spaces, amenities, and programming for community members to gather, socialize, and collaborate.

Why it's Important:

Studies increasingly demonstrate that the design and function of built spaces can contribute significantly to health disparities. Lower income neighborhoods more often lack safe and well-maintained parks, recreational facilities, sidewalks and attractive scenery, resulting in higher rates of obesity, depression, and distress, shorter life expectancy and reduced feelings of social cohesion that lead to greater risk of stroke. These inequalities also contribute to socioeconomic burdens – in Canada, for example, socioeconomic health inequalities impose a direct economic burden of at least $6.2 billion annually. Moreover, research in the U.S. reveals a decline in community social support and social relations, with people who feel disconnected from their local community encountering more mental health issues than those who have a strong community connection. Buildings that provide spaces for public use can encourage greater social interaction, social networks, civic engagement, physical activity and collective feelings of community ownership, thereby reducing public health challenges like stress, depression and chronic disease in the surrounding community. Additionally, projects that offer community programming can foster social cohesion, community empowerment and collective trust, which are linked to decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and mortality and improved physical and mental health, happiness and healthy behaviors. Project owners and developers should consider how built spaces can be made more available to the surrounding community, encourage use by a variety of individuals and promote equitable community improvement and engagement.

What We Do:

Using the Skybridge tool for WELL Version 2, C11.2, Highlands Sports Complex is implementing the Meeting Space option for multiple groups; opening our indoor and outdoor facilities to community groups as needed at no cost to those organizations. Presently, the following organizations have and continue to utilize this open offer to carry out meetings and events. All areas that are open for these meetings has well more than enough space to:

  • To host at least 10 people
  • That is available for meetings and events on a weekly basis if the organization requires that frequency.

Space is available for regular meetings or requested meetings for the following groups.

  • Ohio County Emergency Management training (regular trainings have been held quarterly, but OCEM has a continuing agreement to hold all trainings at our facilities)
  • As part of our farmers market with Grow Ohio Valley, the organization can utilize both indoor and outdoor facilities for education programming as needed.
  • Blood drives have been and will continue to be hosted at our facility, organized by Vitalant.
  • Mobile Medical Units have been and will continue to be at our facility periodically, provided by Adagio Health.
  • Diabetes screenings will take place at our facility, provided by the Ohio County Virtual Lions Club


A point of contact for Highlands Sports Complex can be reached on our website for non-profits and community-based meetings and events to be held at our facilities at the website link: https://highlandssports.com/contact/

WELL Education Library

The Highlands Sports Complex is a WELL Building, certified by the International WELL Building Institute. For additional resources and information, please visit our WELL Education Library.

We provide websites to search for resources concerning human and community health as it is influenced by the built environment.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can prevent the spread of germs/viruses, breastfeeding, or the importance of sleep and hygiene for public health, please visit our Community WELL Education Library.