The gyms' owner posted a note on the front doors and on its website telling its members of the recent closure. The owner blamed the health department for the closure, but health officials there said that's not true at all.

Clark County health district says it didn’t ‘shut down’ gym

The doors of Workout Warehouse in Springfield are permanently closed and the owner blamed the Clark County Combined Health District — but health officials say that’s not true.

A letter on the door of Workout Warehouse, located on Urbana Road, and a message on the gym’s website told its members of the bad news.

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“We will not be opening after Christmas,” The letter reads. It continues on to say, “The EPA and the Springfield Health Dept. have done their best to close my business. I can’t fight them anymore … Thank you, to the loyal members who never gave up on me. It’s very hard to let go.”

The letter is signed by the owners of the gym, Jerry and Nanette Scafone. Their letter also cites family health concerns.

The Springfield News-Sun wasn’t able to reach Jerry Scafone for comment.

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said the health district doesn’t have the power to close the gym. The only aspects it has jurisdiction over is the gym’s pool and spa — and he said it didn’t close those either.

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“The Board of Health did not shut down Workout Warehouse,” Patterson said.

Workout Warehouse recently announced it would permanently close its doors beginning the day after Christmas. The business pointed fingers at the health department and the EPA as reasons for the closure. JENNA LAWSON/STAFF.
Photo: Staff Writer

The health district found issues in the gym’s spa in June, Patterson said, and Workout Warehouse received a critical violation on a routine inspection for not covering up outlets in the spa area.

Director of Environmental Health Larry Shaffer said the main drainage/skimmer system to the spa had been disconnected and rerouted to two pipes that flowed into the top of the spa.

Those pipes weren’t covered, he said, and that created a danger to anyone who used it.

“It creates high suction,” Shaffer said. “Somebody’s hair could get up in there. Your bathing suit could easily get sucked up.”

Shaffer said any violations are recorded on an inspection sheet, reviewed with the business owner and also emailed to them. Critical violations are expected to be resolved as soon as practical.

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The health district tried to give the owner as much leeway as possible in fixing the issue, Shaffer said. In July, the owner was approved by the board of health for a variance, which acknowledges and accepts that the owner either did not want to or could not fix the problem.

In later inspections, the critical violation was no longer listed. But the Ohio Department of Health rejected the variance in December, and the health district sent a letter to the owner, Jerry Scafone, notifying him of the change.

Both Shaffer and Patterson said none of that means the health district shut down the spa or the gym at any point in time.

“His decisions on how to operate the business are just that, his decisions,” Shaffer said.

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