BINGHAM — Donovan Beane is a soccer player and used to wake up early to lift weights at the local high school in the morning.

The 15-year-old said he had nowhere else to do it, and it made afternoon lifting impossible.

His sister, Amber Beane, 27, says she spent most of her time “eating too many doughnuts” before the gym arrived.

That all changed in early January, when the New England Field Service Health Club officially opened in the former Kennebec Mill.

Both Beanes, who said they use the club regularly, were there on a recent afternoon.

The health club – the only one in the town of about 1,000 people – is slowly adding hours and members by offering a service that some residents say was unavailable before.

Only 28 percent of Somerset County residents have access to exercise opportunities, according to national county health rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic organization devoted to public health. That’s compared to an average of 57 percent of the population in the rest of the state and 85 percent of the population in counties that performed the best in the U.S.

The gym opened at the Owens Street site of a former sawmill and production plant for Bristol boats. The building was empty for more than 30 years after closing in the 1970s and eventually being bought by Jay Strickland, a local business owner, in 2012.

Strickland’s daughter, Amber Easler, and her husband, Mike Easler, recently renovated the former mill and have filled it with exercise equipment.

“It’s very beneficial,” said Bingham First Selectman Steve Steward. “We live in Maine, so it’s not quite so easy to exercise outside. It’s pretty hard to get out there and walk even with the snowbanks. It’s a lot easier to be inside.”

“It definitely still looks like an old mill, but we kind of like it that way,” Amber Easler said, glancing at the wood-paneled walls that make up the gym. “It has personality.”

Easler also manages Thompson’s Restaurant on Main Street. The couple hope to add more classes, an outdoor track and even a swimming pool.

“I think this is a really big thing for people of every age group,” Easler said. “There’s nowhere else to go. There’s no rec center or community hall, so if nothing else, this gives people a heated place to work out in.”

Amber Beane agrees. “It’s incredible,” she said as she lifted weights with her brother on a recent afternoon. “For a while I was going to the gym in Skowhegan, and it was just uncomfortable. There were a lot of people and it wasn’t as friendly.”

The gym has also drawn a number of elderly residents, who now have a safe place to walk in the winter, Easler said. She hopes to add a Silver Sneakers program, which helps the elderly get reimbursed for gym memberships through insurance.

“I’m capable of more in my everyday life since I’ve been coming here. I’ve been coming since they opened, five days per week,” Amber Beane said.