Lawrence Athletic Club isn't just rebuilding, it's moving south.
The club, which is rebuilding after being gutted by fire earlier this year, plans to open a second gym on the city's south side this summer.
To be known as Lawrence Athletic Club South, the new gym is scheduled to open about Aug. 1 at 2108 W. 27th. The 12,000-square-foot space now is occupied by Total Fitness Athletic Center, which is moving to a bigger building at 925 Iowa.
Lawrence Athletic Club owner Rick Sells said Monday the south-side center would be less expensive to join than the one he's rebuilding because it won't offer as many bells and whistles.
"It's just a basic gym, like (Lawrence Athletic Club) was when I opened it 15 years ago," Sells said. "It helps people who can't afford the higher price."
The hunt for a satellite location started even before the fire, Sells said. The reasons: To expand his business to the south side and to offer a lower-priced program.
He also hopes to attract Total Fitness members who don't want to go to that club's new location near Ninth and Iowa streets in a building formerly occupied by Hillcrest 5 Theatres. Sells figures he should snag about a third of Total Fitness' estimated 3,000 members.
As for his original club, Sells said it was on track to return to full operation by late August or early September. A Feb. 4 fire gutted its original wing, causing an estimated $1.5 million damage. The remaining portion of the structure -- about 2,600 of a total 32,000 square feet -- reopened late last month.
-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.