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YMCA's expansion nearly complete

September 24, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With less than a month before the dedication of its $1.5 million expansion and renovation project, Chambersburg YMCA Executive Director Dave Matthews said Thursday, "everyone is working real hard to get it done."

A ribbon-cutting and open house is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m., according to Carla Haller, the YMCA's membership services director. Several crews were working on the 1,500-square-foot addition to the building on McKinley Street, originally built in 1956.

"The preschool and administration wings are done," Haller said.

The preschool wing can handle programs for more than 40 children between the ages of 3 and 5, as well as an after-school elementary program for up to 66 children, she said.


A group of 3-year-olds held their hands over their ears as they walked through the preschool area where a worker was using a power tool. The worker was assembling an indoor tree house that Haller said will be part of a loft space where children will go for story time and other activities.

A new entrance and lobby also is part of the addition, she said. Other new amenities are family bathrooms and changing rooms. These will serve members with young children or disabled family members who need restroom or changing areas other than the men's and women's locker rooms, she said.

In another part of the building, space is being remodeled into a teen center that will have computer, study and video areas and table games along with kitchen and vending machine areas, Haller said. New conference and board rooms and an office for the teen director also are part of the renovations, she said.

Matthews said all the planned improvements are budgeted at $1.8 million, but part of the work will have to wait until more money is raised. So far, he said, the YMCA has raised $1.25 million of the total.

"We wanted to do the teen fitness center, an expansion of the baby-sitting area and an outdoor play area," Matthews said.

"We're planting seeds out there" in the community to raise the additional money, he said. The YMCA serves approximately 3,500 members, Matthews said.

The work began in August 2003 with renovations to the YMCA's two pools, Matthews said. All the building's old single-pane windows also are being replaced with more energy efficient double-pane insulated windows, Haller said.

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