Ask an Expert on Remodeling

Joe-headshot-Dec2013You have questions, we have answers. We took some time this month to speak with Joe Cirulli, the CEO of Gainesville Health and Fitness in Gainesville, Florida, on how a remodel can revitalize your business. Recently, Cirulli renovated the club’s location on Newberry Road. 

CS: What were your deciding factors in launching the new remodel?

JC: I know it’s critical to always stay new. I believe it’s a mistake to wait until a new competitor comes to town before a project is launched.

CS: What elements were you looking for in an architecture firm?

JC: First was to find one with a track record in our industry and obviously a good reputation. Second was someone I could speak with easily. I found both in Rudy Fabiano.

CS: What were some obstacles along the way and how were those overcome?

JC: Usually the biggest obstacle has to do with the city and permitting. It’s critical to have a good construction team in place. In our latest expansion and remodeling it took years of planning since we are close to a creek. We had to get the state involved to make it possible.

CS: How did you prep your members for construction? 

JC: We explained everything we were doing and updated them on a regular basis. Plus we moved things around to always make equipment and space available.

CS: How did you lean on your members to decide on the best type of remodeling project?

JC: I really didn’t. I knew what I wanted my facility to look and feel like. I do observe them and how they use different areas of the club, and designed the layout of equipment based on that.

5 Things You Wish You’d Known Before the Remodel:

1. No matter what you do, some members won’t be happy. Keep working and don’t let it get you down.

2. Stay ahead of the construction. In other words, always think of what’s happening next and be prepared to make adjustments.

3. Don’t skimp — do it right the first time.

4. Make sure to plan the appropriate open houses to celebrate the completion of major projects.

5. Once everything is completed, start thinking of what’s next. 

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