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      Former exercise facility is up for auction

      The fate of the W in Gwinn is up for auction on Saturday. The old recreation fitness center has sat empty for about three years. One of the only serious bids for the project in the past was Community Handup, who hoped to reopen the center.

      The organization fell short of meeting the financial requirements.

      On Saturday, West Branch Township will first attempt to sell the building and its contents for $85,000. If they don't receive a bid, they will attempt to sell just the building for $75,000. They would individually auction off the athletic equipment and office supplies that occupy the building.

      They say if no one purchases the building, the township would like to see it demolished.

      "You can only wait so long for somebody to come up with a plan for something," said Jack Heidtman of West Branch Township. "Sooner or later, you got to say, OK we've waited long enough. We're at that point now."

      The township says it's important not to leave the W standing if there isn't a buyer because of blight concerns. An auction preview will be held Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      The auction will begin on Saturday at 11 a.m.