The Ballard Health Club has announced its plan to close their childcare center. The last day will be May 4, according to club manager Justin McGowan. McGowan says it was a decision based on finances, as the childcare program was causing the club to lose money.
The club has had the same childcare employee for nearly as long as the club has been open. Hitomi Kuefler has worked for the club for nearly 14 years. While the club served about 35 families with children, McGowan says the reservation-based service was no longer feasible for the club to maintain. “Unfortunately, it’s expensive,” McGowan explained. He said a few members have decided to leave the gym based on the decision. And it’s not just the inconvenience; members are upset they’re losing Kuefler, who was beloved among parents. “People are sad,” Many will miss her specifically,” he said. “She doesn’t just show up and let them entertain themselves.” McGowan said he’d hoped it would be possible for Kuefler to work at a different childcare center nearby, but as it turns out, she’s likely moving out of the city for unrelated reasons.