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Archive for Friday, August 16, 1996

ATHLETIC CLUB PLANS EXPANSION

August 16, 1996

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Dramatic membership growth forces Lawrence Athletic Club to expand.

Rick Sells is hoping his athletic club can "stretch out" to better meet the needs of the club's members.

Sells, owner of Lawrence Athletic Club, 3201 Mesa Way, plans to construct an addition to the existing building to offer more space and more options for customers.

"It's going to be on the east side of the building and attached to the south end of the existing building," Sells said.

The owner said the gym won't shut down during the construction of the new building, but that it may close for a short time to tie the two structures together.

The new 12,000-square-foot athletic facility will include a seven-lane lap pool, another dressing room, a juice bar, health food bar and a 2,800-square-foot cardio-theater.

The cardio-theater room will allow club members to work out on aerobic exercise equipment while enjoying their favorite television programs using remote head phones.

The addition will also house a 40-by-60-foot basketball court.

Kristi Cooper, a sales person for LAC, said club members are already excited about the additional equipment and facilities. Photographs, an artist's rendering of the new facility and written descriptions about the addition are posted in the lobby of the club.

"Everybody's excited about the pool. We'll be able to have water aerobic classes. Especially I think some of the elderly people are excited about that," Cooper said.

Kyle Evans, an LAC member, said he plans to take advantage of the new basketball court.

"I don't swim much -- maybe on the weekends," Evans said. "But yeah, I'll use the basketball court a lot, especially in the winter."

No date has been set to begin construction, but Sells said the building shouldn't take long to complete.

"We may have to get a new Small Business Administration loan and we will have to take bids (for construction)," Sells said. "We want to start as soon as we can. We think it will take five to six months, depending on the weather."

Lawrence Athletic Club is almost 2 years old, and Sells said the addition is simply a natural progression. Sells is the former owner of Junkyard's, a Lawrence athletic gymnasium that closed several years ago.

"When we had Junkyard's, we had about 40 to 50 members. Now, I have 40 to 50 employees and between 3,000 and 3,600 members," Sells said. "We've really grown."

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