Beatrice YMCA adding, rearranging space

BEATRICE – Construction continues at the Beatrice YMCA on a project that will add about six-thousand square feet of space. Executive Director Alison Leonard says it involves new utilization of current space, along with some new area at the front of the facility.

"We will be nearly tripling our wellness center. The addition of six thousand square feet will go to the coffee bar area and our front lobby area...that's my favorite place because that's where people are building relationships, celebrating birthdays and those sorts of things. We're going to be adding two new studios upstairs with the wellness center...and we're going to be adding a mini-gym, where our current racquetball courts used to be."

The organization will double its space for the YMCA Discovery Zone and add a new teaching kitchen area to provide instruction to people on eating right.
Leonard says some space will be added to the swim area to help in viewing competitions.

"We have a lot of swim people who come over from Freeman, Norris and Fairbury that we co-op with, at the high school. So, it will be nice for those parents to be able to view....and then also our second grade swim lessons. We just finished up...we had 183 kids. The swim lessons we do throughout the year....we'll also get an opportunity for those parents to watch their kids in the swim area."

Conference room space and new wellness equipment will be added. While the project is going on, Leonard says daily workouts and programs are continuing.

"What has been fantastic is our members have been just really great about going along on the ride with us. We haven't really lost membership. In fact, our soccer this year had over 180-plus kids...which is the most we've had in the 19 years I've been here. Some of that is people are just ready to get out and get going...but they're also excited to be part of the project."

Leonard says about 90-percent of the project should be completed by the end of the year, then renovation of the locker rooms will get underway, including a family changing room. That work will take about another six months.