It was all smiles for the Fort Gymnastics Club at a recent council meeting.
Fort Saskatchewan City Council made a unanimous decision to purchase land, which includes a building for the Fort Gymnastics Club.
"It's very exciting. It's been a long time in the making and we've been asking for help for a number of years since even before we moved to our current location," said head coach Leanne Cameron.
About a year ago, the club ran into some trouble at their current location, a building next to the Life Church. The church did them a favour and allowed the club to use the building for only $3,000 a month, until there was a court battle over the building. The new owners bumped their costs up to a commercial rate of $11,500 a month.
"We're kind of at capacity where we're at, so we weren't able to make up for that lack of income anywhere. We needed a bigger space. This new space that the city is giving us, we will still pay rent on it, but at a substantially decreased rate."
Since moving into their current location, the club's numbers have increased from just over 100 students per session to just over 300 per session.
Gymnastics is a far less expensive sport than most. Students don't have to pay for equipment, only requiring a tee shirt and shorts or sweatpants. The club also makes a point to keep their fees reasonably low, which caused more issues when their rent more than tripled.
"I think we're all just happy to have something that's going to be city-owned and city-maintained. Right now our roof is leaking which is wrecking our equipment. So those things no longer become an issue when the city is in charge of it. They're a little more proactive with that kind of thing. It'll be nice just to have that stable, lower rent."
The new facility is slightly bigger. It will have more bathroom and change room space, a party room and an office area.
Purchasing the lot cost the city $1.3 million, while the full cost of renovation is estimated at approximately $1.7 million. The money is coming from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grants.
The city's goal is to have the club operating out of the building by September of 2019.