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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
Almost a year after the Powerhouse Gym promised to open it's doors with a state of the art gym, an opening date has been set.
For months, a lock and chain has been on the front door of Powerhouse, but on Thursday, the 9News I-Team got a look at what the gym will look like once it opens.
The Powerhouse Gym pulled in customers last year in November with newspaper ads promising a gym that would open January 13, 2012.
Frank Caruso was just one of the people who signed up and paid the $840 for a two-year membership. To this day, the gym remains closed and 12 months behind. But Powerhouse General Manager Kenny Wayne said next week will change that.
"The temporary (site), our goal is to have it (ready) either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week," said Wayne.
The temporary site will be 2,200 square feet with about 30 pieces of equipment. Over the coming weeks, Wayne said they'll continue adding to the "open" list: a group fitness room and a spinning classroom. The track that raised questions in the initial contract has been torn down.
Eventually, there will be the main workout area, men's and women's locker rooms, power lifting room and a main entrance. In all, it'll be about 67,000 square feet when the entire facility opens.
"Then our goal is the big club, have it ready for February," said Wayne.
After some contractor issues, about a month ago, Wayne said they hired a new company. Webber Construction is a part of the new deal. Shawn Webber said when they took over, the gym was not in the best shape.
"Abuse, things that shouldn't have been done that was done, just a lot of lagging work," said Webber.
Even though things seem to be on schedule for a soft opening next week, people like Caruso aren't convinced just yet after having dealt with the gym co-owner Ronnie Olah.
"I'd be shocked if it even happened," said Caruso. "He said many things and made many promises many times and has not lived up to one thing yet so why would I believe that?"
So what do you tell all the people who have signed up and given you guys money?
"Our goal is to give you what you paid for and then some. To answer your question, please bear with us. We're still here so anyone who wants to come by and talk, we're here," said Wayne.
As for that opening date...
"I'm 99.9% sure if we have to work 24 hours a day," said Webber.
"Let me earn our reputation back. Whatever I can do for you, let me know," said Wayne.
If you're wondering if you can get your money back, Wayne said the initial investment is non-refundable, but once the gym opens and you go by and still decide you want to cancel, that opportunity will exist.
The gym remains under investigation by the State Attorney General's Office.