Rain delays fitness center construction



BLUE HILL — A rainy spring has delayed construction of a community fitness center that Chuck and Belinda Lawrence have planned behind their business, Tradewinds Marketplace at 15 South St.

“The building season started about six weeks late because of the rain,” said Chuck Lawrence. “This is going to happen but we are up against some uncontrollable circumstances. I know people want to see a structure going up.”

The Lawrence family is frustrated as well.

Dec. 5 will mark the 20th anniversary for Tradewinds Marketplace.

“Our dream was to get the fitness center open around the same time,” he said. “But at this point it’s definitely going to be delayed until the first quarter of next year.”

The site, part of which is considered wetlands, is taking longer to dry out than another site might have.

To that end, the concrete subcontractor fit in another project while waiting for the South Street site to dry out. The concrete work is expected to begin in four weeks.

“I build stores,” Lawrence said. “This is different from what I’m used to. I’m being cautious in making sure we have the right subs [contractors].”

The Lawrence Family Fitness Center will encompass nearly 20,000 square feet. The first floor is planned to have 13,000 square feet with another 6,500 square feet on the second floor.

The center will feature a six-lane, 25-meter competition-size pool.

Lawrence said the pool would be built this summer as well as the building itself.

“I’m pretty confident unless we get another month of rain we can open February or March [2020].”

The Down East Family YMCA will operate the facility.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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