News Feature

Blue Hill
Web exclusive, August 15, 2016
Lawrence family to build community fitness center as a gift to their customers

Lawrence Family Community Fitness Center

The Lawrence Family Community Fitness Center will be built on Tenney Hill in Blue Hill.

Photo courtesy of Chuck and Belinda Lawrence

For several years, Belinda and Chuck Lawrence, owners of TradeWinds Marketplace in Blue Hill, have been in search of land to house a community fitness center they would build as a way to give back to their customers and community, and after hitting many roadblocks, they approached George Stevens Academy about building on GSA property, according to a news release from the academy.

GSA agreed, and together the Lawrences and Head of School Tim Seeley announce an agreement to build a fitness center for use by the broader community, while providing a forum for school activities and meets. Funded by the Lawrences, the Lawrence Family Community Fitness Center will be situated on a portion of GSA’s 16+ acre Tenney Hill property, which the school purchased in 2015.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Lawrences on this wonderful project,” Seeley said in the release. “Belinda and Chuck’s vision of a fitness facility that would benefit the whole community, including its schools, was the starting point. Their commitment to a ‘full circle approach’ to business that honors customer loyalty by strengthening and giving back to the community is something the community has seen from the Lawrences for years, but the scope and mission of this gift is extraordinary.”

Details of the facility’s design are still very preliminary, but the Lawrence Family Community Fitness Center will include an indoor swimming pool, an indoor walking track, and fitness rooms. It will be designed to meet health and fitness needs throughout the Blue Hill community, and will include provisions for its financial stability and management.

“The Blue Hill peninsula community welcomed us so warmly 17 years ago, and this is our way of thanking our incredibly loyal customer base. We will be working with George Stevens Academy to develop inclusive and flexible scheduling so that young and old residents alike can get the most from the facility,” said Belinda Lawrence.

“Planning and coordination with many parties is already under way,” said Seeley, “and we will be finalizing a long-range plan over the next six to eight months. We hope to break ground next year and to open the Lawrence Family Community Fitness Center sometime in 2018. Stay tuned for more information about the project as it takes shape.”