New Washington YMCA building set to open doors June 1

Union photo by Gretchen Teske

Construction is continuing on the new YMCA building in Washington. The $9.5 million project is set to be open to the public June 1.
Union photo by Gretchen Teske Construction is continuing on the new YMCA building in Washington. The $9.5 million project is set to be open to the public June 1.

WASHINGTON — By the time the summer starts to heat up, Washington residents will be able to break a sweat in a brand-new YMCA building.

The new YMCA, which will be located at 520 West Fifth Street, is expected to be open to the public June 1 and with only half a year until the $9.5 million facility is expected to open, $535,000 still needs to be raised.

The first donation of the almost $9 million raised came in 2014.

Director of the Washington YMCA Amy Schulte said the new building is a dream come true and something that has been in the works since 2012.

With the opening less than six months away, Schulte said there are no nerves about opening the doors but excitement to show the community the new space.

“I’m very excited. It’s been a long time coming so it’s a little surreal that it’s getting this close,” she said. “We’ve had people who have had a lot of faith in us for a long time so it’s exciting to be ready to open the doors for them.”

The construction of the building has been split into two phases Schulte said. Phase one will be completed in time for the June opening.

Fundraising for phase two, which includes a new swimming pool, will follow the completion of phase one.

Phase one consists of the main structure of the building which includes a full size basketball court, a walking track and multiple fitness classrooms.

Schulte said members will have 24/7 access to the two-story building. Members who already have a key fob to the current YMCA will be able to use the same one to access the new building once it opens.

The upstairs portion of the new YMCA will house bathrooms, multiple fitness classrooms including a dedicated spin room with 25 bikes. The circular open concept floor plan will have multiple cardio and heavy lifting stations on the inside and a two-lane walking track on the outside. Schulte said the track is 1/12 of a mile in distance.

From the track, members will have a view of the Washington Wellness Park which the city still is in the process of developing, and a full view of the gym below. Bleachers will be added for additional seating during sporting events and a curtain down the middle will allow for the main basketball court to be divided into two side courts.

Off the gym will be a lounge area as well as two sets of locker rooms. She said this is modeled after the existing locker rooms at the current facility where one set is dedicated for adults only and the other for public use. A fifth family locker room will be available as well.

There is a whirlpool and steam room in the locker rooms at the current building. For safety reasons these will be built on the pool deck in phase two. However, the towel service that is currently available in the locker rooms will also be available in the new locker rooms.

The main lobby will have a seating area with USB ports for laptops and cellphones. Just off the lobby and along the gym walls will be a community room for youth activities as well as a senior gaming area with pool and card tables. Schulte said when the staff is not on site, a gate will be dropped down to prevent access to these areas.

In the corner of the building, there will be a separate community room with its own restrooms. She said the room will be available for rent and has its own kitchen, projector screen and outside access.

On the outside of the building, construction still is taking place but Schulte said discussions on landscaping will be held this week as the YMCA board is trying to look past the winter weather and prepare for the opening.