Tradewinds owners honored for creation of new pool

BLUE HILL George Stevens Academy Head of School Tim Seeley, along with staff, board of trustees members and the school’s swim team, honored Chuck and Belinda Lawrence with a framed resolution Monday in thanks for the competition-sized swimming pool at the new Lawrence Family Fitness Center.

The couple have extended use of the pool for training and competition to the GSA swim team. Prior to the pool’s opening, the swim team had to travel to Maine Maritime Academy in Castine for practice, Seeley said. Now, swimmers can just walk up Tenney Hill from GSA to the pool.

The side of the fitness center at 32 Mines Road has been emblazoned with “Home of the GSA Eagles.”

“You made it happen,” Seeley told the Lawrences. “This is amazing. Schools like ours are successful because of the community.”

Swim coach Don Driscoll said, “Thank you. It’s been wonderful having this facility. The future looks great and it’s because of you.” 

Chuck Lawrence said, “We didn’t have this vision to start with, but we listened to the community. We’re proud of what it is.”

The fitness center is located behind Tradewinds Marketplace, which Lawrence quipped is “busting out at the seams” this summer.

Last summer was busy due to “pandemic” buying, the grocer said. This year is even busier, and Lawrence questioned if the additional business stems from the fitness center.  

The store, by the way, is hiring.

“If you’re looking for work, this is the place,” Lawrence said.

The couple have been impressed by the fitness center’s popularity.

“I thought we had way too much parking, but with the draw from the area and the use of the facility we’re going to have to expand it,” said Lawrence. The fitness center parking lot was full at 10 a.m. Monday.

The facility is managed by the Down East Family YMCA.

GSA trustee Robyn Sealander, who is also a Y board member, read to the couple a resolution written by Sally Mills, who chairs the GSA board of trustees. 

In the resolution, Mills cited the “essential, high-quality public service” to peninsula residents through the operation of Tradewinds, the couple’s “enlightened business practices and philanthropy” and the “considerable expense” the Lawrences undertook to incorporate a state-of-the-art swimming pool at the request of the public.

Jennifer Osborn

News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

Jennifer Osborn

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