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First gym in Ravenswood opening Monday

Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 9:28 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The plaza along Washington Street in Ravenswood is located in the center of town and has been through a lot over the years.

The owners hope the recent improvements will be a new beginning.

Ed Jacobsen’s family bought the plaza 12 years ago. Back then, it was filled with shops and storefronts.

“The recession hit in 2008 and carried over to 2009 and beyond,” said Jacobsen.

He said businesses started to dry up and doors began to close after the aluminum plant left.

In recent years, he says things are looking up with four new businesses occupying the strip mall.

On Monday, manager and trainer Jeremy Lawrence will open the doors to the only public gym in the city-- Maximum Fitness.

“Ravenswood as a whole there is nothing to do,” said Lawrence. “Just as it is and having someone to teach you what to do and having the availability of having a gym.”

Going to a training center nearby was not an option for people who live there. The closest workout facilities are 20 to 60 miles away.

Brittany Montgomery is one of the new instructors. She will be teaching classes on some of her favorite things, including; belly dancing, meditation and yoga.

“I’m actually a firefighter as well here and we were all talking about gyms and it was really hard because we were having to debate how far we are willing to drive,” said Montgomery.

After a year of quarantine shutdowns and restrictions, it could not come at a better time. Jeremy said after two years of hard work, he hopes to give back to his community by providing a place for health and wellness.

“We have a bunch of different memberships you get a discount if you are a student, teacher, couple, family,” said Lawrence.

Maximum fitness said they are abiding by COVID-19 safety guidelines. To sign up, you can go online or come in and tour the gym.

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