The doors of Huntsville’s Club 55 have been closed since March of 2020. When they reopen, it’ll be inside the Active Living Centre.
The club is amalgamating its services with the Town of Huntsville to offer affordable activities to residents aged 55 and up.
Simone Babineau, Huntsville’s Director of Community Services, says the club has been ready and willing to pay their lease and keep services going at Town Hall, where they’ve been since 1965. However, the COVID-19 pandemic means they have been unable to reopen.
Babineau says the partnership should take some strain off the organisation.
“There’s a number of benefits to Club 55 no longer needing to drive a membership to be able to pay their rent, phone bills, insurance bills,” says Babineau. “Just for them to reopen under the pandemic they’ve had to do a reopening plan and have it approved by the health department. These are things now that we can do together.”
Previously, there was a fair bit of overlap between the activities offered by Club 55 and those offered by the town, according to Babineau. She says this will allow them to have those activities, as well as the unique offerings of each group, all in one place.
“It’s still going to give our 55-plus group in our community that space to do swimming programs in the pool, some walking in the track, have their coffee space and their tea,” says Babineau. “They can have a number of activities during the day on a school day and then we can use the spaces in the evenings for rentals, our community groups, adult programs, youth programs on PA days, that kind of thing.”
According to Babineau, initial discussions started in fall of 2021, and the town is currently in talks with Club 55’s leadership to form a peer group that will work out scheduling, programming, and other considerations.
Since the Active Living Centre currently hosts a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, Babineau says they’ll likely have to wait until the pandemic is behind us to start offering activities.