NEW CARLISLE — The former Tecumseh Family YMCA reopens as a privately-owned fitness center today after years of falling into disrepair.
The former Y — now New Carlisle Sports and Fitness Club — was purchased by local doctor Ashok Devatha for $181,500 at the end of last October at an auction, according to the Clark County Auditor’s office. Devatha did not disclose the investment in extensive repairs and equipment.
“When the YMCA went down it was like we’d lost a member of the community,” said Devatha, who also runs New Carlisle Family Medicine on Main Street. He said after waiting to see if anyone would buy it, he decided to step up and do it.
“The Turner Foundation had already spent ($1.2) million on the pool and I didn’t want it to go to waste,” Devatha said.
The Y went bankrupt in 2009 after building a large aquatic center. The Turner Foundation offered to help the Y with the loan when it fell into receivership, and was held responsible for the debt when the Y closed. PNC Bank filed a suit against the Turner Foundation in 2010 for the money.
Turner Foundation officials were unavailable for comment at the time of this report, but according to Clark County Common Pleas Court, the case was settled as of March 2012.
After the Y closed in 2009, it slowly fell into disrepair, “collapsing on itself,” Devatha said.
“The building was in extremely bad shape,” he said. “I bought it under the assumption we could clean it up and go right in ... but it took almost six months.”
Devatha is still fixing the exterior damage, he said, and has already fixed water damage inside. And since the equipment in the gym was auctioned off, he had to buy all new equipment.
The former Y is one of the only fitness options for people in New Carlisle.
“It’s a close place for people to exercise and get healthy and stay in their own city,” said City Manager Kimberly Jones. “We’re glad it’s not sitting there empty.”
Devatha said as a physician, he noticed the difference in the community after the center closed. He said he saw young people who were getting into drugs and crime.
“People around here didn’t have much to do or anything to get involved in,” Devatha said.
Starting today, Devatha is giving tours of the New Carlisle Sports and Fitness Club and soliciting potential members.
The club will offer fitness classes, has all new equipment, a conference room, a cafe and a two-hour day care for parents.
“It’s more of a country club feel,” Devatha said. “I’m confident this will be a place people will want to be.”
For more information, contact (937) 846-1000 or take a tour at the club at 524 N. Dayton Lakeview Road.
Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.