New sign at the old YMCA facility.
New sign at the old YMCA facility. Matthew Purcell

Centre takeover met with caution

THINGS look a little different at the newly branded Stanthorpe Fitness Centre.

New faces, new signage greets you at the facility that has been taken over by the Southern Downs Regional Council.

Despite swirling rumours of significant change at the centre, council said everything remained as normal.

"While there is speculation that SDRC has cancelled programs, this is not the case,” a council spokesperson said.

"Any changes which have occurred to Stanthorpe Fitness Centre's programs or classes have been a result of individual instructors or trainers choosing, for a variety of reasons, to discontinue hosting sessions and/or classes at the centre.

"A case in point is the gymnastics classes where the instructor chose not to continue in 2018.”

Gymnastics' cancellation has been met by a raft of angry responses with many quick to blame council.

Instructor Stacy Robson was unable to be contacted by deadline.

Council posted a thank you message to the

outgoing instructor via social media.

But that hasn't stopped parents taking to Facebook to vent anger about how the situation has been managed.

"Why not personally email the students who were involved in 2017 to advise that the program was cancelled?” one commentator said.

"Poor communication Stanthorpe Fitness Centre.”

Council said they were working to find a replacement.

They've also assumed control of Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) and Vacation Care programs.

The OSHC is currently located at the Stanthorpe Community Development Services (CDS) building at Corundum Street.

At the request of SDRC, CDS has extended the leasing contract from December 31, 2017, until June 30 of this year.

SDRC is in the process of identifying a new facility for the OSHC because CDS plans to expand its operation.

A CDS spokesperson said the centre required the space to deliver much-needed, existing and new community programs.

"We will continue to accommodate the OSHC program in the current area until June 30, 2018, in order to give the SDRC time to arrange a suitable alternative venue for this important community program,” the CDS representative said.

SDRC manager of Community Services and Major Projects Michael Bell, said CDS had been extremely gracious.

"CDS requires the space currently occupied by the OSHC program to continue to provide its valuable community programs,” he said.

"Council became aware of the issue during the transition phase of Stanthorpe Fitness Centre and appreciates how CDS has worked with us to allow the time to find another location.”

As far as opening times go at the new fitness centre "opening hours remain the same as the Stanthorpe YMCA”.

"There is council staff on site daily to ensure the efficient management of the centre,” Mr Bell said.

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