A Vernon gymnastics club is looking for temporary accommodation after its facility burned down last year.
After building its gymnasium on 31st Street in 2018, North Valley Gymnastics lost the facility to a fire on October 31. Chairman Paul Williamson said the club was now looking for a temporary space large enough to serve its approximately 800 members. The cause of the fire was deemed suspicious.
“We’re looking for something 5,000 to 8,000 square feet with a minimum ceiling of 14 feet, preferably 16 feet,” Williamson said.
The club visited four different spaces in the Greater Vernon area and took a close look at two, but the numbers haven’t worked out for any of the spaces considered so far.
“We’ve basically hit so far.”
A temporary space would allow the club to relaunch its recreational program and start generating much-needed revenue again.
“Right now we’re just running our competition program and parents and kids are going to Kelowna three times a week,” Williamson said.
North Valley Gymnastics is still in the insurance process and although it appears insurance will cover the lost facility, costs have increased significantly since 2018 and supply chain disruptions promise delays. Contents insurance covering lost gym equipment also appears to be missing up to $100,000. The gym also did not have business interruption insurance, which means a temporary space will not be covered.
Williamson is grateful for the generosity his gym has received since the fire. The first phase of the gym’s fundraising campaign raised more than $50,000 in the first three months, funds that will be used to rent a temporary facility and cover equipment overruns. Donations are still being accepted through two organizations which can be found on the club’s website. The second phase of fundraising will be launched at a later date.
There is currently no specific timeline for when a new facility will be ready to welcome club members.
Anyone who knows of a location that could serve as the club’s temporary home can contact them on Facebook or through their website nvgym.com.
North Valley Gymnastics is a youth sports organization serving children ages 3-17, with a similar registration to the Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association. More than 500 children participate in gymnastics with the club each week.