And Now It REALLY Gets Interesting

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

We’re entering the most challenging stage of our remodeling and expansion project: creating the entryways from the existing building into the new structure.  We’ve cut a two-story high opening in the back of the building between the weight room and Studio 2.  When the project is completed you’ll be able to enter the addition from either the first or the second floor.

The difficulty comes in creating the elevated walkway on the second floor.  This structure will replace the existing stairwell that separates Studio 2 from the main Weight Room.  We can’t open up the addition until this connection is completed, and we can’t build the walkway without impacting the rooms on either side of it.  We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Our challenge, therefore, was to figure out how we could accomplish this with as little  disruption in service as possible.  We’ve come up with a plan that we believe will do this, and we’re going to be shuffling things around to try to keep things as “normal” as we possibly can.   But some of these moves will create  situations that are less than ideal.

Many of you have already witnessed the first stage of this with the closure of the upstairs weight room.  We’ve moved some of that equipment into the stretching area and are asking everyone who uses those areas to get by with a little less room than is ideal.  The same thing is now going to happen downstairs where the new walkway will be built.

Beginning on Monday (2/14) the contractor will be erecting some temporary walls in this area and begin removing the stairwell between Studio 2 and the weight room.  This means we will be losing a few hundred square feet in both of those rooms as well as the walls that currently separate them.  The effect on the weight room will be minor; we’ll have to remove a few pieces of equipment, but we can limit this to machines that we have duplicates available.  The impacts on Studio 2 are going to be more severe.

The basketball hoop will have to come down for a few months.  It will eventually be resurrected down the hall in Studio 1, but this can’t occur until the new Studios in the addition are placed in service.  The one ray of sunshine here is that in its new home basketball will have a much larger space and there will be fewer classes taking place in that room.

In its new smaller configuration Studio 2 will not be able to hold as much equipment or as many participants.  So we’ve decided that for the time being  this space will be dedicated to Spin classes only.  Our Spin classes are very popular; the one downside is that all those bikes take up a lot of space.  This plan seemed like the best way to accommodate the program, but it does have one flaw: with the removal of the walls we won’t be able to contain the sound as well.  So the class will have to get used to things being a little quieter, and the weight room will have to put up with a little more noise.

That leaves the rest of the classes that were being held in Studio 2 without a home, and that’s where things get really challenging.  Many of these classes are extremely popular, so we’re doing everything possible to accommodate as many of them as possible.  We are tackling this situation from three different angles; we will move more classes into Studio 1, we have created new classes for the pool, and we will be turning the space that was the upstairs weight room into a temporary Studio for some of our “quieter” classes.

It’s going to be a couple of weeks until the upstairs Studio is ready for use, so there will be a “temporary” temporary class schedule taking effect beginning Weds. February 16th.  There will be new classes like H2-0 Boot Camp and Spin 30 (perfect for beginners!) as well as most of your regular favorites.  The only real casualty ist that Barre has to go on temporary hiatus-not because it lacks popularity-but because we’re severely challenged in terms of space to store equipment.  Sometime in the near future be removing the temporary wall in Studio 1 and that room will be increasing in size, and we will re-evaluate the situation at that time.

The new temporary studio upstairs will be available for doing your stretching and abdominals when there are no classes going on, so that will help alleviate some of the congestion upstairs.  Once that room is complete we will begin tearing out the administration offices on the second floor above child care.  It’s like a giant game of musical chairs with the goal of keeping operations as close to normal as we possibly can.

With that said, we know that things have been and are going to be far from normal during this construction process.  Aside from closing areas and getting by with less space there’s been noise, construction debris,  and parking log jams.  We’ve asked you to dodge scaffolding and to put up with the blast freezer that blows up the rear stairwell in the mornings.  You’ve been incredibly understanding and supportive and we truly appreciate that.  Thanks for hanging with us—IT’S GOING TO GET BETTER!!!


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