FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It was a packed Breakfast Room at the Stonebridge Hotel last night, as the North Peace Gymnastics Association held a meeting to discuss their future plans.
The meeting was held on Wednesday night to discuss a number issues that the club faces in the near future, primarily that of their home. It’s been eleven months since a fire at the North Peace Arena raced through the gymnasium, which was the former home of the gymnasts. Gynamstics Association President Lorie Barrett says that she spoke with Fort St. John’s General Manager of community services Wally Ferris, who told her that the city expects to have word from insurance adjusters by the end of June. Barrett says that the city has kept the club in the dark as to what the future plans are regarding the former gymnasium site, which had left them in the lurch until they were able to lease the ballroom at the Stonebridge Hotel back in October.
Barrett says that the club was fortunate to use the ballroom, although the setup is not ideal. The club needs a room that is at least 5,000 sq. ft. in size, that also has a minimum ceiling height of 18 ft. to allow the gymnasts to practice trampoline, vault, and uneven bars. The ballroom’s ceiling at the Stonebridge is roughly 12 ft. high. Though the club has looked at leasing a vacant workshop, the costs were too deemed to excessive once the utilities and service fees were taken into account.
Barrett felt that last night’s meeting was incredibly productive, and that though the club’s venue issues are an ongoing struggle, they aren’t even considering closing shop.
A representative from the City of Fort St. John was asked for an interview, but did not return phone calls by press time.