North Peace gymnasts propose partnership with city to build new facility

The ballroom at the Stonebridge Hotel, which is has been rented by the NPGA as a temporary facility since September, 2015.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Gymnastics Association wrote a letter to Fort St. John City Council that was presented at yesterday’s council meeting and outlines the group’s vision for the future of gymnastics in the Energetic City.

After a fire burned down the gymnasium at the North Peace Leisure pool in July of 2015, the group was left in the lurch with no venue to practice. In September of last year, the group was able to arrange renting one of the ballrooms at the Stonebridge Hotel as a temporary location. In her letter to council, NPGA Executive Director Stephanie Engelmyer wrote that though the group does appreciate the use of the temporary facility, the ceiling height of the Stonebridge’s ballroom provides insufficient clearance for the group’s older gymnasts to be able to practice certain disciplines, including rings, uneven bars, vault, and some floor exercises. Engelmyer says that many gymnasts have quit the program due to the inability to practice.

In her letter, Engelmyer asked for the city’s help to construct a new facility on the vacant lot on 94th Avenue between the Pomeroy Sports Centre and the North Peace Museum, in a partnership that would follow the city’s Parks & Recreation Master Plan. She added that the association is in the process of creating a business plan that would be presented to council within the next year and could potentially include a capital lease agreement that would utilize the resources the NPGA has at its disposal.