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YMCA steps closer to finishing expansion project

July 19, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The scheduled delivery of a 20-foot rock climbing wall this week was to serve as the next step in the Waynesboro Area YMCA's ongoing expansion and renovation project.

On July 11, officials were scrambling to open the new wellness center as planned despite the delayed delivery of new equipment.

"We got it all set up at 3 a.m. and opened at 5 a.m.," Executive Director Alan Smith said.

The center has 31 cardio machines and 15 STRIVE Smart Strength adjustable weight systems, Smith said.

Much of the equipment faces flat-screen televisions and has floor-to-ceiling windows behind it. The wellness center has been built off the front of the building and has a black-and-red Y logo looming over it.

"We wanted people to say 'wow' when they walked in here," Smith said.

Eight pieces of STRIVE equipment have been reupholstered to designate that they are part of a 17-minute workout program.

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"These eight hit the major muscle groups," Smith said.

Jo Spigler's favorite piece of equipment continues to be the elliptical machine.

"They got a new kind of elliptical machine I want to try that works the arms," the Waynesboro woman said.

The 12-year YMCA member said she likes the friendly atmosphere and helpfulness of the staff.

"I recommend it to everyone I meet, really," she said. "When they say it's the friendliest place in town, they mean it's the friendliest place in town."

Changes to the wellness center have brought about a revised membership fee, Smith said. Instead of charging for use of various parts of the YMCA, the facility will have an all-inclusive fee effective Sept. 1, he said.

A child-care center designed to serve toddlers and older children is being created. The old fitness center will be converted into a teen center with the climbing wall, indoor playground, lounge, game room and separate entrance.

The local Y's $1.5 million capital campaign has stayed within budget and ahead of schedule since the groundbreaking in May 2006, Smith said.

The most challenging part has been creating a step and ramp at the front of the building, which were necessitated by a 30-inch elevation difference between the new and old parts of the facility, Smith said.

"We had to move our handicap (parking) spots," he said.

Membership has increased from 3,200 to 4,600 in the past two years, Smith said.

"Normally during construction, membership declines or levels off because people don't like interruption," he said.

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