GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – A space that used to be a retention pond at Gainesville Health and Fitness’s Main Center has turned into an outdoor training facility.
“Our main facility is 80,000 square feet but we filled it all up,” said GHF Owner Joe Cirulli. “When I looked at the parking lot, there was no really no way I could do it , right? I mean, how could I take away a chunk of the parking And this is a massive retention pond, and it’s a 10,000 square foot retention pond.”
The pandemic inspired the space. Cirulli said, “I mean the gyms were closed in Florida for a couple months, around the country. So I I started looking at the idea of building an outdoor area.”
And the “echo” of nature and his parents advice inspired the name. “I stood in here and I started listening to all the sounds,” explained Cirulli. “Between the rain, birds, trees, all of it.” Cirulli added, “my mother’s echo never stopped. She always told me ‘Joe as long as you have your health you have everything.’ But you also realize over time, all the things you learned from your father.”
While standing in Echo and looking over at the Main Center on Newberry Road, Cirulli explained, “if you look at the main building over here and you look at this building here, it becomes the echo of this building.”
Echo is 6,000 square feet with a titled roof, allowing for protection from the sun and rain, and helping with airflow during the hot summer months to keep the space cool. 2,500 square feet, about half the space is for high intensity and group fit classes. The other half of Echo is for recovery and individual work.
Melissa Baker, GHF’s Group Fit Manager said, “we will have classes like a salsa on Friday evenings, and other dance type of classes, leg day yoga, sunrise yoga. So we will be changing the schedule based on the seasons.” Baker also said, “people that are going to the indoor classes can have a variety of different things and try out the outdoor space.”
As for what else you can expect for outdoor classes and future fun at GHF’s Echo, Cirulli said, “because there will be other activities that we will be able to do out here, that once again we haven’t thought of yet, but we will.”
Echo is set to open to the public sometime between Saturday, September 11 and September 13.
Visit GHF’s website at ghfc.com for their full class schedule, or give them a call at 352 -377- 4955.
This segment is sponsored by Gainesville Health and Fitness.
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