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Progress has continued inside the new Fitnasium.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that has touched everyone’s lives in so many ways, the Richmond County Family YMCA has pressed forward with its facility renovation and construction of a new Fitnasium. In addition to the Fitnasium, the renovations and construction have improved the parking lot and many spaces inside the facility. The project leaders of Randall Kipp Architecture and The Allen Group are putting the finishing touches on the facility even now.

Shonna Sargent, Center Executive of the Richmond County Family YMCA, says, “The colors inside the Y are now bright, vibrant, and welcoming. With the additional, new asphalt parking lot, and the redesign of the wellness center, the group exercise room, and the lobby, it is all coming together.” Sargent continued, “The walls, ceiling, and floors have all had updates, and the look is fresh and new. We can’t wait for the exciting sights and sounds of our members enjoying our new Fitnasium.”

The purpose behind all these new facility changes and improvements, according to Sargent, is to “Significantly increase our ability to deliver greater numbers of programs and services to families and individuals in our community. We want to impact the greatest number of local individuals and families with the greatest amount of good.” Sargent went on to say, “We have always been able to serve the youngest in our community, as well as our most active older adults, but now, our opportunities have expanded significantly. The opportunities with the new Fitnasium are almost limitless in terms of how we can program moving forward.”

The Richmond County Family YMCA is inviting everyone in the community to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on the new facility, virtually, through Facebook Live, on Wednesday, September 30, 5:30 p.m. The decision to hold a virtual ceremony is an important step to ensure safety and to make sure that too many persons are not gathered together in the same space at the same time. At the virtual ceremony, in addition to the ribbon cutting, you will be able to hear and see some of the new programming opportunities that will be available. Invitations are being sent now for a simultaneous in-house ceremony for lead donors to the project campaign, key volunteers, and the campaign committee.

While COVID-19 safety challenges continue, the Y is responding prudently and consistently to each one. The Y has taken great steps to ensure their members are as safe as possible when in the facility and continues to follow the executive directives from the Governor on how many can be in a given room at one time. For everyone’s safety, the YMCA is taking additional measures as well.

The YMCA staff are operating with mandatory face coverings while in the facility, with exceptions being the group exercise instructors while they are leading a class. Temperatures are safely taken of each person upon check-in, and this safety procedure includes the YMCA staff. Sanitizer is available at the welcome desk upon check-in. Additionally, the Y staff is gloved when they clean the hard surfaces and equipment every 30-minutes. Touchless scanning upon entry is practiced, and important signage is placed in all points of the facility as a reminder of the safest and best practices to follow during the pandemic. After a piece of cardio or strength equipment is used, the YMCA clean that equipment and present a card indicating the equipment is ready to be used by the next person. Appropriate 6’ standards of physical distancing are being enforced.

Sargent says, “We are excited and prepared to show off our new spaces and the Fitnasium, and our staff is diligently responding to the safety challenges with cleaning and operating procedures that ensure a healthy member experience for everyone. We remain grateful for the opportunity to serve all persons in the community.”