Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Robert Muscarella sees it as a win all around.
Muscarella owns Ultimate Physique Aerobic & Fitness Club with his wife Karen. And Ultimate Physique is in the process of buying the former Washington Hunt School on Rogers Avenue.
The Lockport Board of Education voted Wednesday night to put on the May 20 ballot the sale of Hunt to Ultimate Physique for $65,000. The approximately 33,200 square-foot, two-story building located at 50 Rogers Ave. was appraised at $195,000.
The purchase, if approved by voters next month, would solve two issues, Muscarella said. It provides a use for a closed building in Lockport and helps a local business grow.
Since opening 20 years ago, Ultimate Physique has undergone three different expansions at its Ann Street location behind St. John’s Outreach and next to the old Union Station building.
But now, the gym and health club has outgrown the old 15,000 square-foot building, Muscarella said. Searching for a new home, the Muscarellas heard about Hunt.
“It was an opportunity,” Muscarella said. “We saw that the school was closing... we had been looking for a few months for a building in Lockport. We felt it was a possibility.”
Muscarella said Ultimate Physique prides itself on two things mainly, appealing to a wide variety of people and being an active member of the Lockport community.
Working with the school district has gone well, Muscarella said. He is also aware that the sale was contingent on a buyer being considered non-detrimental to the Washington Hunt neighborhood.
The gym would be suitable for the property and would see less traffic congestion than a school typically would, Muscarella said.
Major renovation will take place at Hunt, with the entire project totaling well over $1 million. Some demolition and asbestos removal will take place, as will work that will make Hunt handicap accessible.