GUILFORD – When the former Guilford Primary building went up for sale last summer, the organization operating a fitness center at that location decided it was time to act.
“Our worry when the property went up for sale was that any potential buyer might want our space for a different purpose. In order to be sustainable for the future we felt we needed to make sure it remained our permanent home,” said Gayle Worden, executive director of Friends of Community Fitness, a 501c3 organization established in 2003. “This is the perfect location for us, with the gymnasium and all the space, and Miss A’s Daycare next door.”
The sale, which was part real estate gift from owner Clark’s Enterprises and part real estate purchase, closed on Nov. 22.
“Funds came out of our general fund, which covers operating expenses,” Worden said, adding that it took half the organization’s account to cover the purchase.
“We will be doing some fundraising to replace that money, as well as to do needed maintenance and improvements to the building,” she said. “We have trouble with the roof in the wintertime, with some leakage due to ice buildup. And the boiler system is very old, so we would like to have that modernized, and perhaps explore some more energy-efficient sources for heat and lighting.”
An open house for members and the public will be scheduled in January to allow people to tour the space, and discuss thoughts on how the community center might evolve going forward.
“It’s a community center, so we want ideas from our entire community,” said Worden. “We welcome that.”
The mission of Friends of Community Fitness is to promote a healthy lifestyle through various forms of physical exercise, nutritional counseling, holistic health services and education for citizens of all ages and income levels. The nonprofit offers scholarships for income-eligible individuals.
For more information, call Friends of Community Fitness at 207-876-4813 or visit comfitme.com.