Thanks to a donation of $5,000 from Interior Savings Credit Union, the Ashcroft HUB Society will be opening a full-service gym at the site (the former Ashcroft Elementary School on Hill Street) on April 1.
“They wanted the funds to go towards something that would give us sustainability,” says site manager Vicky Trill. “They said ‘Do something you can bring money in with,’ so we sat on it for a while and tried to decide what to do.”
People had been asking about the possibility of a gym for some time, so the society negotiated the purchase of gym equipment from a local businessman. Merv McKague was the man responsible for bringing it to the site and reassembling it; something that was easier said than done in some cases, given the complexity of the equipment and the state some of it was in.
“It took four hours to assemble the universal gym,” he says. “We had no pictures to go by, so ended up taking it apart two or three times. And we moved things around a lot.”
The set-up took almost a week in total, says Trill, but the work is almost done; something that seemed almost impossible when they began work on the project in February. “I said ‘Let’s try to be open by April 1’,” laughs Trill. “And the response I got was ‘Are you kidding?’ ”
Now, however, all they have to do is paint the walls and install a security system. There will also be a key fob or key card entry system, which will allow gym users to access the facility—located in the former District Training Centre rooms on the Government Street side of the building—to gain access to the gym at any time between 5:00am and 11:00pm.
Trill says that staff will be on site during office hours (9:00am to 5:00pm), and that between those times gym users will have access to showers near the gymnasium. Outside those hours they’ll have access to nearby washrooms.
“There’s pretty much all you would expect in a gym here,” says McKague. “You can do pretty well all you can in most gyms.” Weightlifters will find chin-up bars, squat racks, bench presses, and free weights, and there’s a wide range of cardio equipment. “There are a lot of options,” says Trill.
Membership is $40 per month for seniors, youth, and the disabled, while adults will pay $55 per month. All gym members can have unlimited access to the fitness classes in the HUB for an additional $15 per month. Each member has to have an orientation session, and youths under 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult gym member.
Trill is proud of the new facility, and excited that it’s soon to be up and running. “Everything we have here is because of donations, from organizations and individuals, and there are so many more things we want to do. The gym will help the sustainability of other programs at the HUB.”
She admits that the society has had some growing pains, but they’ve learned as they go along. “It’s great to see the building used; it would have been a shame to have had it boarded up.”
Memberships can be purchased at the HUB from Tuesday, March 29; there will be someone at the site from 8:30am to 3:00pm. For more information call (250) 457-7038, or e-mail email@example.com.