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YMCA Grand Opening Set for Today
(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)
Thomas K. Spence, CEO of the Scenic Rivers Association, told exploreClarion.com that a lot of work has gone into the preparations for the big day.
“There’s been a lot of teamwork and a lot of last minute moving of things from the other building. Today [Wednesday] has been a lot of hustling with all hands on deck,” Spence said.
The grand opening will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility, which is centrally located at 499 Mayfield Road, just off Route 68 near Clarion Hospital, Walmart, Pizza Hut, and the Intermediate Unit 6, inside the gymnasium at 10:00 a.m. Donors will also be recognized at this time.
Spence noted that the ceremony will also include a video from Governor Tom Wolf as well as eight speakers.
“Then we’re basically celebrating and providing full tours,” Spence said.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the group tours will be available and the facility will be open to members beginning at 11:00 a.m.
“We are giving tours and allowing our members, as well as non-members, to come into the facility and see everything we have to offer here,” said Michelle Murray, Clarion County YMCA Marketing and Membership Director.
The former Clarion County YMCA facility, located at 15952 Route 322, closed on Tuesday, January 29, at 5:00 p.m.
According to Spence, the YMCA has already had a large number of people signing up for swim classes, swim lessons, and childcare.
“Almost all of the swim classes and lessons are full already, before we’ve even opened,” Spence said.
The new facility, which is four times bigger than the current location, will include:
- Full service wellness center outfitted with cardiovascular and resistance training equipment, free-weights, and group exercise studios.
- Full gymnasium with a separate running/walking track.
- Family pool that will provide lap lanes, recreation and exercise, swimming lessons, aqua aerobics, and other activities.
- Full-day childcare for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and children before and after school through age twelve.
- Office space for outpatient rehabilitation.
- Outdoor athletic field.
- Administrative space with offices, conference rooms, work stations and kitchen.
- Multi-purpose rooms to support seniors in the mornings and children and teens after school.
- Support spaces, including lobby, reception, café, men’s and women’s locker rooms, family locker rooms, bathrooms, and storage.
- Family locker rooms with private changing area that will include a toilet, sink, and shower.
- Expanded Child Watch and Kids Adventure Center
- Outdoor Deck for picnics and receptions.
According to Spence, the response from those who have gotten early tours of the facility have been overwhelmingly positive.
“The folks that have come in on tour so far, it’s kind of been jaw-dropping for them. There are so many windows, which is part of the design plan to bring in more of the scenery. There are windows everywhere to look out at the beauty of Clarion County,” Spence said.
“With the pool, the balcony to look down over, the gym, and all the new wellness and weight equipment, we don’t think anyone is going to be disappointed.”
Following the grand opening, the new Clarion County YMCA will be open weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with the pool opening at 6:00 a.m. Saturday hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday’s will be 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
One of the additions to the new facility is the new YMCA Younger Years Child Care Center, which is slated to open February 11, located on the lower level of the new facility.
In addition to large rooms, caring teachers, and a character based curriculum, the YMCA will offer a swimming pool for swim lessons, an expansive indoor gymnasium space for large motor activities, a large outdoor playground, and outdoor sports fields for outdoor sports and activities.
The Child Care Center will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for youth ages six weeks old through age 12.
In addition to the child care program, there will also be a before and after school program available Monday through Friday to children within the Clarion Area School District, as well as a preschool program for ages three, four, and five.
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