YMCA construction under way

Published 9:36 pm Friday, April 28, 2017

These days, the sweating going on at the Suffolk Family YMCA isn’t just by the members inside working out but also by the construction workers toiling outside in increasingly warm temperatures.

Lots of work is under way that eventually will give the Y about 11,000 square feet of new space and 25,000 square feet of renovated space, Executive Director Rick Matthews said.

“The need continues to grow,” Matthews said of the need for more and better spaces for members. “It’s really to get us to the next level.”

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The $3.5-million project will improve spaces and add new and refurbished equipment.

When the project is done, cardio and strength equipment, as well as free weights and functional fitness equipment, will all be under one, larger space, said Robbie Laughton, senior membership director at the Suffolk Family YMCA.

There will be an additional row of new cardio equipment such as treadmills, he said.

Weight racks and strength equipment will be repainted and reupholstered, Laughton added.

The stay-and-play area, where parents can leave their infants and toddlers while they work out, will swell from 800 to 2,500 square feet, Matthews said.

“It’s going to be great for the kids,” he said.

“Our parents will love it,” Laughton added. “It will be a much wider, bigger open space that will give us better lines of sight for safety.”

A new area downstairs will function as a lobby and social area with vending machines, Laughton said.

“This will give us a much better space for members to sit and congregate,” he said. “We want to create a space where people feel comfortable staying a little longer and having social time.”

The cycle studio and group exercise studio will be moved downstairs, leaving room upstairs for the mind/body studio, where classes like yoga happen, as well as much-needed conference space for YMCA employees.

“That will create a quiet zone upstairs,” Laughton said.

The first phase of work, a new area for before- and after-school school care, is already complete.

The second phase will be complete by Sept. 1, Matthews said. The third phase will be complete by Oct. 15.

In the meantime, a lot of the Y’s services and classes have been moved to other locations temporarily. But Matthews said the members have been understanding.

“Our members have been fantastic,” he said. “They’ve been unbelievably patient and incredibly gracious with us.”