A recent decision to close the Truro-based Nova Scotia Community College Sport and Wellness Centre to the general public this fall while keeping it open for staff and students has caused no shortage of consternation.
Aside from students and staff, there are nearly 500 members at the centre and some have been very vocal about this turn of events, even organizing a public rally to lobby the NSCC for answers.
That's not surprising. These members, after all, have been loyal supporters of the centre, enjoy the atmosphere there and, given that it isn't closing down, would rather not take their business elsewhere.
That business, by the way, adds up to more than $240,000 per year in revenue, based on fees ranging from about $40 per month to more than $70 per month, depending on what services members receive.
And what business wants to lose a quarter of a million dollars in revenue?
But answers to date have done little to soothe the anger of the jilted fitness centre members.
A letter announcing the decision gave them no explanation, other than to say it would work with members to "ensure a smooth transition with the opening of the new civic centre." And, in an interview with the Truro Daily News, NSCC Truro campus principal Kevin Quinlan described the move as a "business decision" intended to prevent the college facility from competing with the civic centre when it opens in the fall.
We agree with the NSCC decision to close the fitness centre pool, which costs about $88,000 per year to operate. So do most of the soon-to-be excluded members.
But we still don't get this move, which only serves to alienate nearly 500 loyal customers.
Perhaps in time some or most of them will check out the facilities at the new civic centre and wonder what all the fuss was about. There are other fitness centres in the Truro-Bible Hill, too.
But we wonder if, perhaps, there had been another option. Perhaps a grandfather clause that allows current members to remain at the NSCC fitness centre for as long as they cared to renew their memberships while, at the same time, not accepting any new memberships.
Just a thought.