The Apalachicola Fitness Center has closed but a group of dedicated fitness enthusiasts are fighting to save their gym.

The building that formerly housed the fitness center, 45 Avenue D, sold recently to the owners of Papa Joeís Restaurant who plan to relocate their eatery there.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, about 30 people met at the Gibson Inn to discuss the creation of a not-for-profit public fitness center. Locations in Eastpoint and in the old Chapman High School were discussed and organizer Ed Aguiar roughed out several scenarios for financing the public gym.

Members are being asked to pay for a one-year membership, $420, if possible.

Depending on the location chosen for the center and the number of hours it remains open daily, Aguiar estimated between 70 and 120 members are needed. He said supporters of a public gymnasium would buy about 75 percent of the equipment from the old fitness center focusing on equipment that is useful to the greatest number of  members.

Organizers plan to provide space for April Patriotis to continue aerobic and kickboxing classes. Eric Olson would also be available as a personal trainer.

A list of current and past Apalachicola Fitness Center members has been distributed to the core group seeking to found the new gym. They plan to contact former gym members to ask if they would like to join the new not for profit group.

Sites being considered for the new fitness center are the old Apalachicola High School on 13th Street and a section in the Sellerís Tile strip mall in Eastpoint.

The projectís future appears to have gotten off a good start. On Friday, Aguiar sent out an email announcing that 29 people have already opted to join as full-time members.

If you are interested in joining the new fitness center, call 927-2007.