NORWAY — The Planning Board voted 4-0 Thursday to allow an Oxford resident to construct a private health club and fitness center on Aldrich Avenue.

Jesse Wall has owned and operated TruStrength Athletics on Route 26 in Oxford since 2008.

He told planners that TruStrength Athletics is “not like your normal health club.”

“When I first explain to people what I do, they think of a big gym with saunas and steamers,” Wall said. “That’s not what we do there.”

He compared the club to “a motorcycle club or cycling club,” where membership closes after they “hit a certain number.”

“The idea is to do community building through an avenue of fitness,” Wall said. “We do a lot of youth outreach and try to promote healthy activities in town.”

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Wall said he wants to build a 40- by 140-foot steel warehouse-style building and a smaller, pre-engineered steel building on the lot.

“It’s a straightforward construction,” Wall told the board. “It’s not going to be a high-noise club, and since we close membership after a certain point, we’re always going to have a good idea of how many people should be there.”

Following a public hearing, the board reviewed the Site Plan Review Ordinance to ensure the proposal met all applicable standards.

Chairman Dennis Gray asked Wall if he planned to have grass surrounding his building.

“The idea is to eventually bring some loam in and let the grass grow up behind the building,” Wall said.

Aldrich Avenue is a dead-end street off Alpine Street.

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Norway Planning Board members vote Thursday night to authorize Jesse Wall of Oxford to construct a private health club and fitness center on Aldrich Avenue. From left are Mary Lou St. John, Michael Quinn, Dennis Gray and Anthony Morra. Anita Hamilton, right, abstained from voting.


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