Youth Center property would be great for the ‘Y’

Published 9:11 pm Thursday, February 25, 2010

To the editor:

I am writing in reference to the Feb. 17 article “Neighbors worry about YMCA center.”

I don’t live near the old Hampton Roads Youth Center location, and I understand some of the concerns Oak Ridge residents are expressing, but I have the unique perspective of having volunteered often when HRYC was up and running, as well as being an active member of Suffolk’s YMCA for the past 10 years.

Email newsletter signup

The property is just amazing — huge fields and plenty of trees. In fact, I did not realize it abutted a neighborhood until reading the article. Residents’ concerns about fencing and maintaining the pond are valid, and I’m sure the YMCA would have strict requirements on those issues for its own reasons.

As far as noise is concerned, I live next to a park, and there isn’t a sweeter sound in the world than children playing and having fun.

In addition, my family and I have spent hours at the YMCA — shooting basketball, exercising or taking swimming lessons. There are always tons of children there, and they always seem to be having fun and not causing any problems. The Y has always struck me as being extremely well run.

Unfortunately, over the past couple of years the Y has outgrown its space as more and more people move to Suffolk. The Y needs more space, and the HRYC property is sitting there empty. It seems like a great match!