ANACONDA - The Goosetown Racquet and Health Club in Anaconda is adding more space to accommodate more than 100 new pieces of equipment.
Interior remodeling began two weeks ago at the gym, and changes are expected to enlarge its fitness room by 180 square feet, its cardio room by 1,000 square feet and its downstairs weight room by 1,500 square feet.
Work will also begin this week on a 35-by-77-feet addition to the south side of the building, in part for karate and boxing classes and mixed martial arts training.
Owner Robby Gunderson said the expansion is necessary to fit more machines for a membership base that grew by about 10 percent last year.
"Our weight room was already crowded," Gunderson said. "It was something that needed to be done anyway."
Both projects are contracted locally through Spehar Construction LLC.
Gunderson, who co-owns the Goosetown club with his wife, Amy, acquired new Life Fitness and Hammer Strength gear when they bought a
struggling gym in Georgia last March.
They plan to replace and further add 80 pieces of cardio and select rise weight equipment, which would double or triple the current inventory.
"We always look at whatever we can afford here," Robby Gunderson said. "This was a situation where we could add some new cardio and duplicates of other nice machines."
To make room, Goosetown is building floor space over its indoor basketball court - about 20-by-40 feet - to create a fresh fitness room.
The basketball court moves one down to what was a seldom-used second racquetball court, and the wall between the old court and weight room is gone to allow more elbow space for free weights.
The old fitness room will take on excess weights from downstairs, including leg equipment and dumbbells. A new straight
staircase flows it all together, and replaces the old spiral staircase from the front lobby.
With the spiral stairs removed and the hole floored over, they now have an additional room for the cardio and select rise weights near the front entrance, Gunderson said.
"Members are very excited about all this," he said. "Any time you get new equipment, that always excites the customers."
The building addition for martial arts classes could be finished by September or October. Goosetown is looking into buying an octagon for MMA, Gunderson said.
"Just talk of it has ignited a ton of interest in our community," he said.
Boxing coach, karate teacher and part-time Goosetown employee Chris Eamon is funding the addition to keep martial arts alive in Anaconda.
Karate and boxing classes offer kids more options than just traditional sports, Eamon said, and develop positive attitude, discipline and physical conditioning.
"There will be more opportunities to pursue different goals and learn different things," he said.
The multi-purpose addition could also be used for dance and gymnastics, Eamon said.
Eamon complimented the Gundersons for their dedication to the community and emphasizing fitness and health to residents.
"I think they want to be able to offer something positive for everyone," he said.
- Reporter George Plaven may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.