Reading Gymnastics Academy has been a staple in Reading for 31 years. Owner Leslie McGonagle is looking forward to moving the academy to North Reading this summer.
Currently, the academy is located at 172 Woburn St. in Reading. McGonagle took over that location when it was a boarded up school building, she said. They will be moving to 35 Concord St. in North Reading during the last week in June.
The new facility is 19,200 square feet, about 6,000 square feet larger than the current space, she said. They plan to be open in North Reading on July 8 for summer camp.
They have expanded their summer camp options and now have all day, extended day and early drop off options. Last year, they had to turn people away because of space issues, she said, a problem that they will not face in their new facility. They will also be able to accommodate those on their waiting list after the move.
"What we have here is a wonderful group of gymnasts, coaches and families," she said. "Everyone is excited about this."
The new facility will still have two levels, but almost everything will take place on the first floor. There will be a viewing area for parents on the second floor as well as a dance room, lounge, a large play room for the parent and child programs and offices. They plan to offer some classes for adults in the new location, including Zumba, so parents can work out while their kids do the same.
The North Reading location can fit over one thousand cars in the parking lot, not that they need that many, McGonagle said, but it's nice to have more than enough. The new location will also allow them to open on Saturday and Sunday. They were unable to before because they shared a parking lot with St. Agnes Church.
The North Reading location will contain a special new feature: a foam pit. They are currently digging a hole for the pit to help with dismounts. The pit will allow for gymnasts to dismount without putting pressure on their knees.
“Safety is our number one concern,” McGonagle said.
Some speculated that the academy was moving due to the town's plans to purchase the Woburn Street building, but McGonagle said that they were planning on moving anyway and that they started looking for a new space last year.
The grand opening date has not been announced yet. Stay tuned for details.