The Auckland Council says it tried to help arrange for a gym teacher to continue running lessons in a Ponsonby building, but received no response from her.

A petition and Facebook page have been started to "Save Leys Gym" by the parents of the 60 children who attend Lynne Burroughs' recreation classes for preschoolers and children aged 5 and over.

For more than 40 years, Ms Burroughs has taught classes in the building, which was built next to the Leys Institute Library complex in 1906 from a bequest made by William Mason.

But from March 9 classes will stop after the council told Ms Burroughs to vacate the building so it can be leased to other occupancy.

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Auckland Council spokeswoman Angela Jones said although Ms Burroughs had served the community for many years, there had never been a formal lease arrangement, nor had she ever paid rent to the council.

She said the council had been in regular touch with Ms Burroughs via email and phone since mid-2011 in an effort to formalise a lease for the gym.

"Council sent her the application form to do [reapply for a lease]. However, we did not receive an application from Ms Burroughs."

The lease for the building was officially advertised in November, and on December 21 Ms Burroughs was sent a letter asking her to vacate by January 23.

The Ponsonby Community Centre will take over managing the gym building, with a view to allowing various community leases.

Ms Burroughs and her husband Warren have a life-long association with the gym.

They went there as children, and he taught competitive gymnastics until suffering ill health.

About 400 leases on or in council-owned land and buildings are in the process of being reviewed or renewed.

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