Contact 9: Powerhouse Gym Update - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: Powerhouse Gym Update

Posted: Updated: May 14, 2012 04:18 PM
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A January grand opening is what people who signed up for a local gym thought they were getting themselves into last fall, but as the months passed and the doors stayed shut, outrage circulated online and on the WAFB Contact9 voicemail.

After months of waiting, there has finally been some movement at the Powerhouse Gym site on Sherwood Forest Boulevard in Baton Rouge.

"We scheduled a meeting with the contractor, so that we could establish moving forward from this point," said Carey Chauvin with the Department of Public Works.

"Moving forward" are words Chauvin has not been able to say about Powerhouse since a stop work order was issued at the site in December.

A previous contractor was working there without permits and according to Chauvin, the gym was not safe. For example, he said the track was not built properly and it was unstable, which could have led to an accident.

We're told the gym's owners, Ronnie and Connie Olah, have stripped up the work in question.

"They're good to go-permit issued last week. We just wanted to make sure the contractor understood what our inspection requirements are," said Chauvin.

The Olahs declined to comment. They will have to pay double the fee because of their code violation earlier in construction stages, but they can now resume work.

This is a relief for many, including Chauvin. He said his phone at DPW has been ringing off the hook, sometimes with 12 to 15 calls a day on this issue.

"That's probably been the most unique thing about the project for us is we don't typically get the number of calls that we have for this particular project. People just asking us what the status is, what the holdup may be," said Chauvin.

WAFB continues to receive questions and complaints as well. They have been pouring in from customers who have already given the Olahs money and from people claiming they worked for the Olahs and never got paid.

The Olahs refused to give a new timeline of when construction is expected to be complete at the Powerhouse site. They currently have a failing grade on the Better Business Bureau's website.

Email your Contact 9 ideas to contact9@wafb.com.

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