Sangerville fitness center relocation eyed

Posted March 04, 2010, at 9:45 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:04 p.m.

GUILFORD, Maine — A successful fitness center that has been operating in a former school in Sangerville is eyeing the possibility of relocating to Guilford Primary School should residents accept the property at the annual town meeting on March 15.

SAD 4 voted to close the Guilford school at the end of the school year and consolidate the pupils into the Piscataquis Community Middle School building.

Gayle Worden, director of Friends of Community Fitness, told Guilford selectmen Tuesday that the nonprofit organization is interested in the primary school because it has a gymnasium and that addition would help draw more people to the fitness center.

“I think it will open up more opportunities,” Worden said.

In recent years, the fitness center has been renting rooms in the former Abbie Fowler School in Sangerville, which does not have a gymnasium. But since the rent from the building has not been enough to cover town expenses over the years, town officials have placed the building’s future up to voters. On March 27, residents will vote to sell the brick building, remove it for green space, or continue to lease the rooms.

Because of past discussions by Sangerville town officials and some residents about the viability of continuing to fund the operation of the building, Worden said the organization has been looking for a permanent home. She said 321 people use the facility, some coming from as far away as Harmony and St. Albans.

If the fitness center moved to the primary school building, its proximity to the SAD 4 campus may allow the possibility of some after-school activities, Worden said. She said the center is interested in renting only the eastern side of the building that includes the gymnasium.

Selectmen took no action pending the town meeting vote.

In other business Tuesday, selectmen learned that the town’s Economic Development Board planned to apply for a housing assistance grant and a Maine Community Foundation grant to complete the skate park. The location of the skate park on town land in the Water and River streets area has not been made final and costs have not been totaled, selectmen were told.

At the request of the Valley Grange, which named the Guilford Primary School “citizen of the year,” selectmen voted to proclaim April 16 as “Celebrate Guilford Primary School Day.”

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