Building on success

August 06, 1997

Building on success


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Maybe they need movable walls at the YMCA in Waynesboro.

Every time there's a new construction project at the 22-year-old building at 810 E. Main St. - and there have been several in recent years - what was once an outside wall became an inside wall. It's happened at least three times since 1975 and it's happening again, said Dick Marks, the Y's executive director.

The latest construction project, costing $1.1 million, includes a $600,000 warm-water swimming pool that will open in December. It will be built in a new wing on the other side of the existing Olympic-size, six-lane lap pool.


The money comes from a 1995 fund-raising drive.

The warm water pool will be used by sufferers of arthritis and related diseases, senior exercise classes and swim classes for toddlers, Marks said. It is supposed to free up time in the lap pool, he said.

"Lap people want to come in at any time to swim. That's our goal, although I'm not sure we can deliver on it," Marks said.

Marks came to the Y from Boston the year the current building opened. The old YMCA that opened in 1915 on North Potomac Street was still use at the time. Marks spent his first two nights in Waynesboro in resident rooms there.

When he took over, the Y had less than 1,000 members. By 1985, the year of its first major upgrade, it had more than 1,800 members. Today it has more than 2,600.

The 1985 project added a second gymnasium, a youth center, multi-purpose room, a weight room and physical fitness center, along with some minor improvements.

The current project, in addition to the pool, adds to the weight room and fitness center and converts the multi-purpose room into an aerobics center. It also increases the youth center area.

That added space, from 1,600 square feet to 2,400 square feet, will allow the Y to launch a new child-care program for school-age children before and after school and a preschool program which will run two-and-a-half hours a day.

The new child-care program is not a babysitting service. It will provide the youngsters with organized Y programs, Marks said.

"Our goal is to reach out and touch people, to make a difference in their lives. The Y's philosophy is to develop the whole person, physically and spiritually," Marks said.

Part of the new space will be dedicated to a babysitting room where patrons can drop off their children while they work out.

Waynesboro has always supported its YMCA, both through individual donations and corporate gifts.

Its biggest benefactor through the years has been Grove Worldwide. Since Marks came on board Grove has given the organization more than $200,000, Marks said.

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