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YMCA is building for the future

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 6 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Work is now well under way on the construction of a new interior wall at the Orleans County YMCA allowing for the development of a large new lobby area separate from the gym area.

The sound of hammers and saws replaced that of bouncing basketballs and floor hockey pucks at the Orleans County YMCA over the holiday break as interior work on the much anticipated Capital Improvement Project is now well underway.

The project involves the development of a spacious new lobby area, a new multi purpose room and a new entry way to the ‘Y’ that will be handicapped accessible.
Toward that end a new interior wall is now being built to separate the gym area from the new lobby and multi-purpose room area.

“Construction progress at the Y has been slow but efficient. We’ve encountered a few obstacles which have slowed us down, but we’re moving along. This project should be completed by mid-February, as all of our programs are set to begin the week of February 10th,” said YMCA Executive Director Jeff Winters.

Photo by Mike Wertman – Granzow Construction workers are shown putting up dry wall on the new wall.

“This is a very important project for the Y,” Winters added. “We have a tremendous facility in the historic Medina Armory building, but it’s never really been updated to make it functional for the YMCA and the community’s needs. For instance, the building isn’t functionally handicap accessible nor does it have men’s bathrooms on the main floor. Our Silver Sneakers class, which about 30 senior citizens a day take, has been relegated to the basement due to lack of first floor space and bathrooms.”

” We need this building to be totally inclusive for every community member, as we try to strengthen the foundation of this community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” he added.

Photo by Mike Wertman – Though the new wall will alter the buildings interior layout a bit the size of the gym floor will remain the same.

“With that in mind, we’re adding a large wall to separate the gym and the rest of the building, HVAC in the gymnasium area, a newly refinished and painted gymnasium floor, a new first floor multipurpose room, a lobby to help bring the community together and, down the road a few months, handicap accessibility and unisex bathrooms on the first floor,” Winters said.

Photo by Mike Wertman – A look across the gym toward the new dividing wall.

Winters noted that importantly the remodeling will not reduce the size of the gym floor as the area at the north end of the gym, which formally housed racquetball courts, has now been opened up right to the north wall.

“The original gymnasium floor was approximately 10,000 square feet,” Winters noted. “The Y did a two-year usage study of our racquetball courts and our Board of Directors determined we could use the racquetball space (2,000 square feet) in a wider manner for the community. Therefore, we designed our new lobby area and multipurpose room to be the exact same size as the racquetball courts and we would then just push the gymnasium north. Thus, the gymnasium stays the exact same 10,000 square feet.”

Photo by Mike Wertman – The new lobby area will also have a new multi purpose room behind it, which is shown in the background here.