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New facility boosts YMCA membership

January 03, 2002

New facility boosts YMCA membership



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


Hagerstown YMCA membership has grown by about 900 people since the new facility opened Dec. 3, Executive Director Michael Flicek said Friday.

The increase surpasses the goal of recruiting 750 new members in the first month, he said.

There were 2,800 Hagerstown YMCA members in 1996 and there were about 3,800 in late November, 2001 he said.

The YMCA has a goal of reaching 5,500 members by the end of 2002, he said.

Many are joining as families. If a family has five members, that counts as five new members, he said.

The new one-story YMCA on Eastern Boulevard replaced the downtown six-story YMCA, which was built in 1920.

Many people are coming in for tours of the new facility before agreeing to the membership, he said.

The most common reasons given for joining are for health and wellness and for family activities, he said.

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People like the new facility because parking is more accessible than it was at the other YMCA, he said.

Seniors like it because it is located on one floor and easier to navigate, he said.

The new $7.1 million YMCA complex on 28 acres is known as the Richard A. Henson Family YMCA to honor Richard Henson of Salisbury, Md., for his $1 million donation to the YMCA's building campaign.

The new facility was needed because the downtown YMCA had no room for expansion, Flicek said.

The new complex is a 62,000-square-foot building and has enough land for a large parking lot, two soccer fields and a T-ball field. There is also room for future building expansion, which may include an additional gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool.

Inside the new YMCA are two pools, a double gymnasium, fitness center, child-care center, meeting rooms, teen and senior facilities, five locker rooms and administrative offices.

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