Gymnastics club may seek new home

Cramped conditions have the Fort Frances Gymnastics Academy exercising its options, including possible expansion or even construction of a new facility.
Located at 835 McKenzie Ave. N., next to the Beer Store, the building was the former home of Pinewood Sports before being purchased by the club in 1993 for $155,000.
The final payment on the sale was made two years ago, but club president Diane Boustead said the academy considers it a necessity to provide larger training facilities for local gymnasts.
“We need space,” she remarked after a meeting last Friday to explore possible alternatives.
“We had our Christmas display in there [Sunday afternoon] and it was jam- packed,” she added. “Our floor size isn’t even adequate to compete on.”
While expansion isn’t being ruled out, Boustead said the club’s preference is towards construction of a new building—possibly near the Fort Frances Curling Club.
“When you consider how much it could be to expand, it may end up being less costly to build a new facility,” said Boustead, stressing that “everything is in the very early stages.”
Gymnastics coach Mirel Bica currently is working on a design for a new building. The Romanian native will rely on his extensive background of travelling to hundreds of different facilities during his time as an athlete and coach to come up with a plan that’s satisfactory to the local club.
“We’re hoping to get that done A.S.A.P., maybe in the next week,” said Boustead.
“Once that’s done, then we’ll have to see about cost estimates, as well as the availability of land,” she noted. “Expansion is still an option. If there’s no new land available, then it’s our only choice.”