Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 19, 2018
Proposed fitness center subject of public hearing
Lawrence Foundation plans 2019 opening
by Anne Berleant
A proposed fitness center on Mines Road in Blue Hill to be built by the Lawrence Family Foundation will be discussed at an April 23 public hearing held by the planning board, followed by a board review on the commercial site plan application. The board accepted the application as near-complete on April 9.
The fitness center will be built on two acres of land cleared by the Lawrences and sit on 13,060 square feet. A six-lane swimming pool capable to hold George Stevens Academy swim meets, exercise and fitness rooms, and offices will fill the building, which will have a balcony along two sides and include viewing windows onto the pool. The parking lot will accommodate 111 cars and have bus space, according to the site plan drawings submitted with the application.
The application follows a lengthy search for available land that fits within the $3.5 million projected budget for the center. Ultimately, the Lawrences are using land they already own adjacent to the car wash on South Street. “If we were going to pay to fill wetlands in, we might as well use property we already own,” Chuck Lawrence said earlier this year. To fulfill mitigation requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Lawrences purchased 130 acres of wetlands in Surry. A completed Natural Resources Protection Act permit application has been submitted to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The fitness center will operate under the auspices of the Down East Family YMCA, which will vacate the space it currently uses behind TradeWinds Market Place. Blue Hill Day Care center housed in the same building will then expand.
The fitness center is slated to be open by the end of 2019.
Blue Hill Fitness Center public hearing
Monday, April 23, 7 p.m.
Blue Hill Town Hall