DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A Danville community pillar is reopening after being closed for a year.
Roselawn Fitness Center had been operating since 1989. After the original owner retired in 2022, the gym shut its doors. Now, it’s under new management and ready to re-open.
It was one year ago when Chip Runyon decided to retire after 33 years owning the center. The building was bought by Danville’s Three Kings of Peace. After nearly a year sitting vacant, the new owners are hoping to continue his dream.
“He reached out his hand and shook hands, you know, and he said, ‘Man, this is your building,'” said Three Kings Member and Danville NAACP President Edward Butler. “And I tell you that, you know, the emotion was just raw. And he took the ‘For Sale’ sign down because the other buyers were going to just take all this stuff out and use the building for something else. But he wanted his dream to continue, and that’s our dream as well, is to reach our young people, you know, to give them a different mindset. And so that’s what we’re doing now.”
Butler wants the gym to continue serving those who need it.
“We will continue to work with our young people to kind of get them doing something that’s more positive. Not only with their lives, but within the city,” he said.
The group hopes for the gym to create opportunity and good habits, one rep at a time.
“It’s like a safe haven for our young folks in our community,” said Three Kings Member Revered Frank J. McCullough. “A lot of times, communities don’t offer a lot of places to go for our young folks, and hopefully this will be that place and they’ll feel safe.”
“The 3 of us working together very quickly made sure it was going to happen,” Runyon said. “And that just gave all three of us a nice feeling.”