Members protest Naperville Edward-Elmhurst Fitness Center closure

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A group of about 40 people gathered outside the Naperville Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Center Saturday morning to protest its upcoming closure on April 1.

Naperville Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Center closure was a surprise to many

Edward-Elmhurst Health announced on March 1 that the facility would be shutting down. The organization says the closure is in part due to membership being down nearly 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The closure came as a shock for Naperville Waves Swim Club member Jib Chutipong. She voiced her opinion on how it could have been handled differently.

“You know, talk to us, get the input and see what can be done,” said Jib Chutipong, who swims with Naperville Waves at the Fitness Center. “We could even help them promote the facility, make it more profitable, whatever. Not just shutting the door one day by putting a sign up.”

Edward-Elmhurst encouraging its members to move locations

Edward-Elmhurst Health has recommended its members transition to its Seven Bridges Fitness Center six miles away in Woodridge. But some members, like stroke survivor Michelle Pelc, say that facility doesn’t have some of the conveniences that the Naperville location does.

“At Seven Bridges the locker rooms are about a block away to get to, so here (Naperville Fitness Center) everything’s close and convenient for all of us,” said Pelc. “I think this place is more adaptable to people with disabilities and to people who are older. So for them to close this, it makes it difficult for the rest of us.”

Some seniors, who live in the nearby Martin Avenue Apartments, said they appreciated the ease of being able to walk right next door to the Naperville location. Pam Gallagher said she goes five times a week, and described how she imagines she’ll feel once the doors shut for good.

“I think I’ll be heartsick,” said Gallagher. “I think the reality will sink in and I’ve been saying to my family, I have to grieve before I can accept it. Acceptance is important in all of our changes, but grieving this loss has been monumental.”

Expanded classes and open house at Seven Bridges

Edward-Elmhurst Health is expanding its offerings in both land based and aquatic classes at the Seven Bridges facility, adding dozens of new selections to help meet the needs of members. That updated schedule will launch April 1. In addition, there will be open houses for members at the Seven Bridges center on Thursday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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