The YMCA of Western North Carolina has broken ground on a $2.5 million renovation of the Asheville Y. Facility upgrades include:
2,400-square-foot expansion of the Wellness Center, complete with additional fitness equipment and stretching space, plus new flooring, lights, and fans
Higher ceiling to accommodate taller equipment
Covered lobby entry with ADA-accessible doors
New major mechanical units to more efficiently heat water for pools and showers
Built in 1970 and last updated in the mid-1990s, the downtown Y is home to more than 9,000YMCA members. Those members were integral in developing the renovation plan, said Jessica Hendrix, associate executive director of the Asheville Y.
“Our members are extremely loyal and committed, and our member advisory group has worked with us on ways to improve our facility,” Hendrix said. “Our downtown location does present challenges with parking and crowded amenities. These upgrades will give us the opportunity to better serve our members. We also have exciting plans to serve the community at large, and look forward to sharing more about that soon.”
Exterior site preparation and parking lot closures began last month, and the City of Asheville issued the full construction permit on July 3.
During construction, access to some areas of the facility and parking lot will be limited. Portions of the lower front parking lot will be closed during construction. Members are encouraged to use the YMCA-designated spots in the First Baptist Church parking lot for overflow. Street spots are also available after 6 p.m.
“These renovations are a first step in our greater vision for serving the community through our downtown location,” said Paul Vest, president and CEO of the YMCA of WNC. “The Y is dedicated to providing programs and services that support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, and the Asheville Y is our flagship. In order to effectively serve the downtown community, continued improvements beyond the initial renovations will be needed in coming years. With the community’s partnership and financial support, the potential for the Asheville Y is limitless.”
Novus Architects developed the renovation plan, and Hickory Construction is the general contractor. The project is expected to conclude by the end of 2017.
In addition to the Asheville Y project, the YMCA of WNC recently completed renovations at the Reuter Family Y at Biltmore Park in South Asheville, and is preparing to start construction on the new Ferguson Family Y at Westridge Marketplace in Candler.
Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more than six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.