Upset over gym closing

My family moved to Madera in 1995, when I was 4 years old. I grew up in this town, attending Lincoln Elementary School and then Liberty in the Ranchos.

For as long as I can remember, the gym on the corner of Sunset Avenue and Orchard Avenue is where Maderans exercised. Whether it was the Madera Athletic Club, Gold’s Gym, Thrive Fitness or Fitness Evolution, this gym was an installation where residents were able to become healthier.

Maderans of all backgrounds and incomes worked out at this gym.

I was extremely sad to return home to see its parking lot empty and lights off for the first time. It was the only location in town with an indoor private pool and before an indoor wood basketball court.

My family had been members of this gym for over 20 years. I am embarrassed by the City Council’s decision to allow this icon of the community to be closed, which has been open since the 1950s, due to the minor complaints of neighbors. Now there is a large abandoned building.

— Anson Lihosit,