YWCA fitness centre forced to close
For over 40 years, the YWCA in downtown Calgary offered a convenient workout space and an important revenue stream for the non-profit association, but it has been forced to close.
Officials say that flood damage at the facility is too great and the gym has been wiped out.
“It took out our gymnasium floor, it took out equipment, it took out racquetball floors,” says Sue Tomney, CEO of the YWCA. “It was extensive.”
Half a metre of water sat in the building for about nine days and the remediation on the building itself cost the organization $1M.
“I think we all sort of realized things were never going to be the way they were before,” Tomney says.
It would cost another $800,000 to restore the building as a fitness centre and officials say that that isn’t feasible at this time.
The organization is hoping that post-flood Calgary will once again step up and help out financially through donations to make up for the shortfall.
“We’re all about counseling and education and housing for vulnerable women and the fitness centre provided revenue so that we could do that.”
A farewell celebration for the fitness centre is planned for Thursday afternoon between 3:30 and 6 p.m.
Users are invited to stop by and say goodbye to staff and the facility.
They can also pick up against that was left behind in lockers – hundreds of bags of gym gear were spared from the flood and are waiting to be picked up.
(With files from Bridget Brown)