YMCA announces expansion

April 11, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

Six years ago, the Hagerstown YMCA board of directors held its collective breath and built an $8.4 million facility in the suburbs.

"There was a fear that the people wouldn't follow us, but that never happened," YMCA Executive Director Mike Flicek said Thursday evening as he announced a $1 million capital campaign to build a new youth and family gym, create a teen activity center and expand the current fitness facilities.

The major reason for the expansion can be traced to the growth in membership since the new building at 1100 N. Eastern Blvd. opened in December 2001. Membership has increased from 3,800 to more than 8,000, with many of those holding family memberships, Flicek said.


Announcing the campaign to the public at a wine and cheese reception at Fountain Head Country Club, Flicek told the assembled board members, staff and volunteers that $400,000 has already been pledged through a silent campaign.

Coupled with the capital campaign, the YMCA also is kicking off a $1.5 million youth endowment campaign.

"Our subsidized memberships have tripled. That fact and our need for more youth programs are what this endowment is needed for," Flicek said.

The old six-story YMCA was at 149 N. Potomac St. on a 1.5 acre site.

The current 28-acre site is home to a one-story, 62,000-square-foot building and a number of outdoor activity areas. Inside are two swimming pools, a double gymnasium, child care center, meeting rooms, five locker rooms and administrative offices.

Officials say:

  • The youth and family gym will add 4,500 square feet to existing facilities and will be at the northeast corner of the existing complex. Indoor lacrosse and gymnastics will be possible with the addition. Cost is approximately $500,000.

  • The addition of 1,400 square feet to the existing fitness center will include all new equipment. Cost is approximately $350,000.

  • A teen center with a movable wall that would allow for dances and other large-scale activities also is geared toward providing a safe, drug- and alcohol-free environment for teens. The cost of this is approximately $100,000.

The only question from the audience was about parking.

Flicek said the capital campaign has plans in it for more parking. He said 30 new parking spaces were created last summer.

The new YMCA has been annexed into the Hagerstown city limits.

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