It shouldn’t be much of a surprise JP and Kara Skelley were on the move Thursday.
Since the couple first opened CrossFit Excursion in downtown Johnstown in 2018, the pair have brought the high-intensity workout to the community, teaching lessons in the open air, jogging down Washington Street with classes and hosting annual races.
But on Thursday, they were starting a move of a different kind – as in, to a larger location on Walnut Street.
The Skelley’s joined the Cambria Regional Chamber and city and county leaders Thursday to break ground on a new 4,000-square-foot facility.
“It’s going to give us more floor space for lessons and allow us to expand our class schedule and spa services,” JP Skelley said. “It’s giving us room to grow.”
Skelley said a new pre-manufactured steel garage bay-style building will be developed on a spot alongside Walnut Street near the Little Conemaugh River.
The property, previously owned by the Conemaugh Health System, is currently a parking lot.
Johnstown Mayor Frank Janakovic welcomed the trade-off, saying the neighborhood could spare a few parking spaces to make way for new development.
The Skelley’s business was already an important part of the downtown’s revitalization – and by expanding, they’ll continue to entice young adults to the neighborhood, he said.
With paved space around the next CrossFit Excursion location, JP Skelley said he’s hopeful he’ll be able to expand his fitness program offerings outside its walls, too.
He hopes to host CrossFit competitions with groups from outside the area.
Lessons could also be moved outside, with the Inclined Plane in the backdrop – or to the in-development Iron to Arts Trail Corridor, he said.
The Skelleys said they believe in Johnstown, its people and potential.
“We see the changes here,” JP Skelley said. “Johnstown is on the rise.”
He credited 1st Summit Bank, Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) and the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority for helping his family find the right location for their business, making the project itself a reality.
If all goes well, site development will be underway next week, Skelley said.