River Valley Club Expansion Plans Continue After Co-Founder’s Death

  • An artist's rendering of the proposed FitKid2 childcare facility, to be located next door to the current FitKids facility in the Centerra office park in Lebanon, N.H. (Courtesy CPBLot5 LLC)

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lebanon — Plans to expand the River Valley Club’s Childcare center will continue through a city review, the project’s engineer said on Thursday — two days after the club’s co-founder was found dead at his Hanover home.

But it’s unclear whether the roughly 13,000-square-foot expansion will ever be built. The project was championed by Joe Asch, who died on Tuesday, and the club hasn’t committed to seeing his vision to completion.

Dan Nash, the owner of Lebanon-based Advanced Geomatics & Design, said he intends to continue work on the proposal and likely will present additional information to the Lebanon Planning Board next month.

“I haven’t heard anything otherwise,” Nash said in a phone interview.

The planned expansion, called FitKids 2, would have a small swimming pool, a 2,400-square-foot indoor play space and an “enormous” outdoor playground, Asch said in an email last week. The building would accommodate 162 children between six weeks old and 4½ years old, he added.

“This new facility will supplement the first FitKids child care center, which has space for 188 children,” Asch said. “FitKids is full and we have almost one hundred children on our wait list.”

Engineers predict the project would add 511 daily vehicle trips to Lafayette Street, with a maximum of 99 cars visiting the site during peak evening hours.

Asch’s company, CPBLot5 LLC, purchased the 2-acre property in Centerra Marketplace for $441,134, according to city records. The company would have sold the lot to the River Valley Club prior to construction, according to Asch.

But it’s not known whether that plan will come to fruition. Messages left for club CEO Jen Poljacik and FitKids Director Jenn Parker were not returned on Thursday.

Prior to his death, Joe Asch and his wife, Elizabeth, were amid divorce proceedings that could further complicate the FitKids project. The couple was battling in court over control of the club’s day-to-day operations, with Elizabeth Asch arguing she owns 52 percent of Woodrow Fitness, the company that owns and manages the RVC.

The Lebanon Planning Board also slowed the expansion project on Tuesday night, when it decided to continue a public hearing into November.

Some board members registered concern that Nash had failed to provide enough information and properly label plans, while others said those details could be further worked out before the project obtains a building permit. “This shows to me that a plan was submitted that had an exceptionally high number of omissions and potential errors,” board member Joan Monroe said in an audio recording of the meeting. “This should have been resolved.”

Nash, the engineer, said on Thursday that he intends to clean up a few details before going back to the board, which will discuss the project next at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at City Hall.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.