by Dennis Dalman
During the past 14 years, Granite City Gymnastics grew just too big for its britches, and that it why it opened a brand-new studio Nov. 13 in St. Joseph.
The new facility officially opened on Nov. 13. It is owned and operated by Sartell residents Tommy and Amy Rodine, who opened and owned the Waite Park-based GCG for 16 years. That facility will no longer house GCG. St. Joseph will be its sole location, its owners noted.
During the years in Waite Park, GCG coached and trained 450 gymnasts, both girls and boys. When it opened, there were only 44 gymnastics students. Rodine said she is happy about the new place in St. Joseph because it will give GCG plenty of room to grow.
“Gymnastics is a good foundation for any sport,” said Amy Rodine in an interview with the Newsleaders. She added that it instills confidence, brings body awareness and is a great way to exercise and stay in shape.
Rodine was herself a gymnast at Jefferson High School, the city where she was raised. Husband Tommy, a gymnastics coach for 35 years, has been the main coach at GCG in the Waite Park facility and will continue that job at GCG in St. Joseph. Amy handles all other phases of the business – scheduling, bookkeeping, managing office functions.
The Rodines have two boys: Boe, 16; and Jack, 13.
The St. Joseph facility is located at 922 21st Ave. NE, along CR 133, in the Industrial Park area of the city. It is a 12,000-square-foot building.
“We were able to design our building to fit our needs so every square inch is accounted for,” Amy said. “Our builders (Dale Kremers, Gallus Construction) were amazing to work with. They made our vision a reality in what has to be record timing. “
Features in the new building include new training equipment, three in-ground trampolines, two foam pits, a 39-foot Airtrack, a quad-bar set and a large pre-school area. The new gym has a mezzanine area for better viewing.”
Safety, Amy said, was the top priority in designing and building the new GCG.
The fall session ended on Nov. 13. The 10-week winter session will run from Dec. 11 through March 1.
At GCG, programs are offered for ages 2-18. College gymnasts often return during their off-season.
The following are GCG’s offerings:
Parent-Tot Classes. For toddles 24 months old and up. Half-hour classes for a 10-week season.
Pre-school 1. For children 3-4. Forty-five minute classes for a 10-week season.
Pre-school 2. For children 4-5. Hour-long classes for 10 weeks.
Advanced Pre-school. Enrollment for children based on coaches’ recommendations.
There are four Recreational Levels of classes that involve work-outs on bars, beams, vault and a variety of floor gymnastics. Hour-long sessions and 90-minute sessions for 10 weeks.
Tumbling. Ideal for dancers or gymnasts in Recreational categories 3 and 4.
Boys Only Class. For ages 6 and up. It focuses on strength-conditioning, tumbling, handsprings and more. Hour-long classes for 10 weeks.
GCG also offers open-gym times and serves as a venue for birthday parties.
Starting on Nov. 27, people can register for classes online via the “Customer Portal” at granitecitygymnastics.com.