What's Next for Members of Gym Destroyed in Fire? - NECN
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What's Next for Members of Gym Destroyed in Fire?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As members of Cedardale Health and Fitness, a beloved gym that burned down in Haverhill, Massachusetts, await its reopening, they are being welcomed to a New Hampshire gym.

    (Published Monday, April 17, 2017)

    It's the start of a new chapter for a beloved Merrimack Valley fitness center.

    After fire caused millions of dollars worth of damage to Cedardale Health and Fitness in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the club is finally planning to open a temporary facility in time for summer.

    On March 1, it took flames just hours to tear down what was almost 50 years in the making.

    "I was shocked, totally shocked," said former member Anne Barney of Haverhill.

    Beloved Haverhill Health Club Consumed by 3-Alarm Fire

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    A massive fire broke out early Wednesday morning in Haverhill, Massachusetts at one of the largest fitness facilities in the country.

    (Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017)

    For Barney and her husband, Bob, and about 5,000 other members, Cedardale Health and Fitness was their second home.

    "We were wondering 'Now, what the heck are we going to do?'" Bob Barney said.

    That's when facilities across the region stepped up to help.

    "It became a no-brainer, let's open the doors because I would want someone to kind of do that for my people,” explained Ted Curtin, owner of Hampstead Health and Fitness in New Hampshire.

    Curtin has offered free memberships to all Cedardale clients until their gym reopens -- and that time is near.

    "We hope to be open for business on May 1," said manager Greg Herbert.

    On Monday, Cedardale employees and volunteers were outside the club salvaging equipment, packing it up and moving it into the old Boston Sports Club location on Lowell Street in Andover.

    "It's not going to be Cedardale, but we are fortunate to have something to bring part of our community back together," Herbert said.

    The new gym is about 15 minutes south of Haverhill, which is proving difficult for some former members.

    "It's just a hike to get there," said former member Corey Rattey.

    But Cedardale says the Andover move is just temporary. The plan has always been to bring the original fitness center back to life.

    "We've had a great run for 46 years, and we want to keep it going and build a building that will last the next 50 years," Herbert said. "We're going to come back bigger and better than we ever were – at some point."

    The original building will eventually be demolished and it will likely be another year before the new facility is built and open for business.

    Cedardale will still have summer swimming and tennis programs.

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