YMCA to hold open house on new facility

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005

After months of cleaning, painting, re-carpeting, replacing windows and doors and many other tasks large and small, Greenville’s new YMCA location will soon be ready to make its grand debut before the community.

An open house to celebrate the center’s grand opening is slated for 5-7 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 1 at the &uot;new&uot; Y, now located on the former Greenville Academy campus.

The event is being held in conjunction with the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce &uot;After Hours&uot; program, and is also being sponsored by the L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital.

Refreshments will be served and visitors will have an opportunity to tour the new facilities. The new Miss Greater Greenville, Christen Clarke of Theodore, will also be on hand to speak on her Miss Alabama platform issue, Promoting Physical Fitness in Youth.

&uot;We’re very excited Christen is going to be able to come for this event – it is just the sort of worthy cause she champions as a supporter of youth fitness,&uot; says Miss Greater Greenville Board Director Sue Arnold.

The Y’s gala opening doesn’t come a moment too soon as far as YMCA Director Amanda Phillips is concerned.

&uot;This has been a long time in the making – it’ll be nine years ago this month that we opened at Beeland Park, and I would say, within a year, we had basically outgrown that location. So we are very, very excited to see this happening,&uot; says a jubilant Phillips.

The Y director is thrilled at the possibilities offered by their new premises.

&uot;We now have a 30,000 square foot building and 19-and-a-half acres of land to work with. Of course, we are planning to increase all our programs and activities.&uot;

The director says all the theme rooms &uot;adopted&uot; by local civic groups and businesses are now finished and ready to use.

&uot;Oh, it is phenomenal what these folks have come in here and done. They have really done an outstanding job and I can’t wait for everyone to come out and see the results of all their hard work,&uot; Phillips says.

Phillips considers the new Y facility to be one of the city’s &uot;jewels in the crown&uot;, and believes the new expanded childcare facilities will be an asset in drawing new businesses and industry to the area.

&uot;The lack of licensed daily infant care has been a real issue here in Greenville. In the old building, we could care for 21 children – and now we will have the ability to care for more than 100 children. And that’s not counting those we will serve through our after school and summer programs,&uot; she explains.

Phillips wants the public to get involved with what she sees as a vital part of the community. &uot;We just want to invite everyone to come out next week, look around and see what we have to offer to the public. We are always looking for volunteers as well as new members.&uot;

The Greenville Area YMCA is currently open Monday-Thursday 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend hours are 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

&uot;We are looking at expanding our hours on the weekends as our membership continues to grow,&uot; says Phillips.

For more information about the Feb. 1 YMCA open house, contact Amanda Phillips at 382-0550.