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community funds $6.5 million for Buhl Club renovation | News

Dominic Naples, left, and Ray Dickson have seen through old locker room partitions to refurbish the FH Buhl Club wellness center in Sharon.

SHARON – The FH Buhl Club is beginning a new chapter in its history by launching a $6.5 million renovation.

Executive Director Jason Kmick said the renovation was funded by donations from the community, including the $2 million lead matching gift from the Buhl Regional Health Foundation.

“What this community has done by donating is truly amazing,” Kmick said. “It just shows what people think of this place.”

Renovations to the 119-year-old building began last week and are expected to continue until the end of the year. The Buhl Club has not undergone a major renovation since 1967.

The Buhl Club is currently in phase 2 of its major renovation project. Phase 1 was daycare in 2017, which cost around $400,000. Phase 2 begins with a redesign of the first floor.

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Sharon’s FH Buhl Club is undergoing a multi-million renovation, the biggest in about half a century.

Plans include a new visitor center, expanded wellness center with new amenities, youth and teen center, family locker room, updated men’s and women’s locker rooms, elevator, dance studio updated and additional restrooms on the second and third floors. . Aesthetic updates will be made throughout the building.

Phase 3 of the renovations include parking, lights, sidewalks, pool updates and facade updates. Upgrading the 50-year-old electrical and mechanical systems is also a Phase 3 priority. It is expected to cost around $2.5 million. Kmick and his team are trying to get grants to pay for the final phase.

The underlying theme of the project is a focus on expanding membership benefits, programming for all ages, safety and accessibility, Kmick said.

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The FH Buhl Club wellness center was gutted along with most of the first floor of the building.

During the renovation, Buhl Club will continue to provide services included with membership using the second and third floors. For example, the wellness center is now on the second floor. The pool, gymnasium, racquetball/handball courts, group fitness classes, swimming lessons and youth programs will remain open and operational.

Kmick said it was difficult.

“We are already experiencing challenges from our current members in having to close the first floor to really speed things up,” Kmick said. “We think if we can get out of the way, they can hopefully get things going a little faster, and we can start opening again right away.”

The non-profit club at East State Street and Pine Avenue opened in September 1903. It was built at the cost of a then-substantial quarter of a million dollars by industrialist/philanthropist Sharon Frank H. Buhl as one of his many gifts to the community.


Dominic Naples is working on the renovation of the FH Buhl Club wellness center in Sharon.

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at [email protected]