After several months of construction (crews broke ground on the site on May 8, 2012), the Wellness Center at the Salem Family YMCA opened to the public on Saturday, Dec. 29–just in time for the New Year’s resolution crowd.
Quarters had been a bit cramped at the Salem Family YMCA for several years, as many members can attest. When the YMCA first expanded in 2005, the new building was more than large enough to accommodate the 2,800 members. Fast forward seven years and a total of over 7,000 members later: staff and board of directors at the Salem Family YMCA knew they were going to need even more space.
Now serving about one in four Salem residents, according to YMCA of Roanoke Valley communications director Kim Bratic, the Salem Family YMCA’s $1.7 million expansion project gives members a much-needed additional 9,400 square feet and doubles the available space. The best part: fees will not go up for members.
The project was funded with “public and private donations,” Bratic said, and no money was taken from membership dues at all.
Plus, “the views are pretty much unparalleled,” she said as she shows off the feature wall full of windows overlooking the city, the stadiums and the mountains beyond. “You could almost watch a Salem Red Sox game from here,” she joked.
The goal of the new Wellness Center is to “make being active fun,” Bratic said. “It’s about being healthy in spirit, mind and body.”
FitLinxx will help members achieve their goals. The electronic system is accessible at several points throughout the YMCA; members can track their activity and progress–and even enjoy the perks of a reward system.
The goal at the Salem Family YMCA is to meet people where they are and help them achieve their personal goals, according to Bratic.
The opening of the wellness center–and the brand new coffee corner–marks the completion of the first phase of the expansion project; to come are renovations to the existing building, including an indoor track, a new group fitness room and a teen center. One of the more exciting projects will be the center for youth, featuring a mock city where children can practice role playing with a barbershop, a pet hospital, a grocery store and more.
The second phase is expected to be completed by the end of spring, Bratic says.