The ‘W’ Is No More…Again

The ‘W’ is once again closing its doors because of lingering financial problems.

And this time, it may be for keeps.

UGN News learned last week that SEMCO Energy shut off the South County Community and Fitness Center’s natural gas last week because the bill hadn’t been paid.

The K.I. Sawyer Community Association has been running the ‘W’ ever since West Branch Township shut it down last September.

Craig Raymond, the media relations director for both KISCA and the ‘W’, says staff at the center were hoping to receive grant money and funds from U.P. tribes.

They were going to receive word at the end of the month about whether or not they’d get those funds.

But he says they weren’t sure they could keep the building open until then.

Maintenance and utility costs are overwhelming for what was once the rec center at the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base.

It costs close to $700,000 a year to run the ‘W’.

And it doesn’t have anywhere near enough active members to cover those costs.

‘W’ members will be able to retrieve any personal items from the center until 8 tonight, tomorrow morning from 7 to 10am, and from 3 to 8pm tomorrow as well.

Members can also get in one last workout during those same times as well.

We’ll have more for you on the closure of the ‘W’ tonight at 11 on the UGN Late News, as well as on the CW 5 during the UGN News at 10.