07/27/04 — Family Y getting $300,000 makeover, new equipment

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Family Y getting $300,000 makeover, new equipment

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 27, 2004 2:01 PM

The Goldsboro Family YMCA will close for a week beginning Aug. 3 for a $300,000 renovation that includes all new exercise equipment.

Four areas will remain open: the pre-school and after-school programs, the aerobics room and the gym.

The Y will reopen Aug. 10 with new exercise equipment, new floor coverings and a new paint job on the swimming pools.

"With the equipment and renovations, we're putting $300,000 back into the Y for the members, and the rates will not increase," said Chief Executive Officer John Richards. He attributes the ability to do this to good financial management.

"The community has supported us well," he said.

The Y will be 20 years old on Sept. 16. Richards said this will be the first time in 10 years the building has closed for an extended period.

The Y is trading in its old exercise machines for the latest equipment.

Hal Warner, the fitness director, said it's "the most bio-mechanically superior exercise equipment in the world. This type of equipment is what professional athletes train on. ...

"The beauty of this equipment is it brings exercise down to a simple form. It's designed for beginners and people who have been exercising for years. It's wonderful equipment. ... It's going to be amazing."

The cardio equipment will be the latest from the Life Fitness company.

"You can't use it improperly," added Richards. "We went with this equipment because it meets the needs of both young and old. We felt this would be a wonderful way to celebrate the 20th birthday of the YMCA in Goldsboro."

The Y has 8,300 members. Richards said the Goldsboro Family Y probably has the highest ratio in the state for the percentage of members per population.

North Carolina has 32 corporate Ys, but some, like Raleigh and Charlotte, have 10 or more branches under one headquarters. Richards said the state has probably about 100 YMCA buildings, and each is unique.

"We may offer some programs the other Ys don't," he said. "If there's a need we try to develop programs for it."

He cited two new programs it offers: The "Change" childhood obesity program, which recently received $450,000 over three years from the Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund, and the Warm Hearts mentor program. Both programs came about through collaboration with other nonprofit entities.

State and federal granting agencies look for collaboration, said Richards, and the Y does it every chance it gets. When the Community Building in downtown Goldsboro burned, the Y offered use of its pools for the city's swimming and aquatic fitness lessons.

"They run theirs in the middle of the day, and we do them in the mornings and evenings," said Richards.

The Y is running two outdoor pools for the city. The Peacock Pool is open from 8 a.m. until noon and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day. It is open to the public, not just to YMCA members, said Richards.

"It's been a wonderful partnership with the city," he said.