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Westwood’s fitness center to stay closed

After fire, parts of building to reopen Monday

STERLING – Parts of Westwood Fitness and Sports Center are expected to reopen Monday, a week after a fire forced the building’s evacuation.

The opened areas will include the main lobby, the lobby restrooms, the basketball courts, and the track.

But the fitness center and tennis courts will stay closed.

A fire started Monday afternoon in Westwood’s maintenance room and caused smoke damage to the fitness center and tennis courts. No one was hurt.

As a result of the closure, many of the fitness center users are now going to the Duis Recreation Center, but its weight room is not as extensive, said Larry Schuldt, executive director of the Sterling Park District.

Westwood’s fitness center could open in a few weeks, while it might take months for cleanup and renovations of the tennis courts. The fire got into the building insulation and damaged a suspended hallway, Schuldt said, which is causing more of a problem for the tennis courts.

“I would like to stress that the smoke damage was so substantial that the fire caused more damage than it appears,” he said. “Some areas of Westwood won’t be open for some time.”

The park district, Schuldt said, is closely working with its insurance company. The district has revenue loss insurance, so the company is looking at Westwood’s books to figure out how much revenue the center will lose as a result of the fire.

The district says it’s working with patrons on payment plans to ensure they get “fair reimbursements.”

“Regardless of what our insurance company says, we’re going to make ourselves right with our patrons,” Schuldt said.

Schuldt said again that the fire couldn’t have happened at a better time. The center’s use falls off during the summer.

“Very little tennis gets played inside this time of year,” he said.

Update on Westwood

The Westwood Sports Center, 1900 Westwood Drive in Sterling, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, starting Monday. The center will be closed on Sundays. The open areas will include the main lobby, the lobby restrooms, the basketball courts and the track.

Total Fitness pass holders may use the fitness center at Duis Recreation Center. To accommodate the additional patrons, Duis' operating hours have been expanded to 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. These additional hours will be in effect until the Westwood fitness center reopens.

Those who have the monthly payment plan will be charged on May 15. Once Westwood reopens, reimbursement details will be calculated and released.

Call Westwood at 815-622-6201 for more information.

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