Current Beckley YMCA will be remodeled, new YMCA facility will not be built

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The YMCA of Southern West Virginia has announced that its planning committee for the proposed $30 million new facility is too costly and too big to operate and, therefore, will not be moving forward to the construction phase of the project. Instead, the focus will be directed toward the remodeling, revitalizing, and relaunching of the existing Y located in downtown Beckley.

The Y has engaged GRO Development, one of the leading firms in facility design and repositioning for the nation’s cause-driven organizations like the YMCA, to help identify areas of opportunity within the 55,000 square foot facility.

The number one priority in the near-term will be complete remodel of the top floor, which will include an expanded Wellness Center with new state-of-the-art MATRIX cardio equipment and an open floor plan. Work is already underway and is expected to be completed over the next six weeks.

YMCA CEO Jay Rist said Friday that donors who had contributed to the $30 million construction project have been supportive of the decision to renovate the existing facility. Most have asked that their contributions be used for improving the East Main Street facility for members and guests.

“We’re very thankful that our donors decided to support this as well,” said Rist. “They’ve been very supportive of the direction the Y has chosen to take.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Donors may support the “Remodel, Revitalize, Relaunch the Y” project by sending donations to 121 East Main Street, Beckley, WV, 25801.

Meanwhile, work continues in the planning and implementation of safety procedures for usage of the Y by its members and guests.

Rist said that when the facility is available for members again in July or later this summer, there will be a “slow opening,” due to the state-mandated restrictions to ensure that patrons stay safer.

“When we do make the move to open up, it won’t be ‘full facility’ just yet,” Rist said.

Finally, registration for YMCA Summer Day Camp is now open. Full information about camp can be found by visiting https://www.ymcaswv.com/summer-day-camp. Space is limited so register now!

The Y continues to encourage everyone in our community to follow the guidance to stay safe, go out only for the essentials, and protect yourself through social distancing. For physical activity, take time to get your workouts at home or outside in your neighborhood and be sure to follow us on Facebook as we continue to offer daily group exercise classes through Zoom.

As a reminder, please note the following regarding the Y:

1. Our downtown facility is closed until further notice. The remodel is under way.

  1. The YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex, including all of its facilities, are closed.
  1. YMCA Spring 2020 Youth Programming Session has been postponed. This includes all youth programs in the areas of Camps, Swim Lessons and Youth Sports.
  1. YMCA Afterschool has been suspended. The Afterschool Program will be offered again when school is back in session.
  1. The YMCA International Dinner, Healthy Kids Day, the Little General Soccer Classic and the Weathered Ground 5k/10k Race have been postponed to 2021. A future date for all of those events will be determined.

Remember, our community needs to continue to follow some simple practices to prevent the spread of the virus, including:

1. Upon entering or exiting any facility, utilize hand sanitizer if offered.

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water. For at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  1. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  1. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or cough or sneeze into your elbow if necessary.
  1. Stay Informed. The CDC provides a comprehensive overview of “What You Should Know About the Coronavirus”.
  1. Stay Home. If you are feeling sick or have recently traveled to a location with confirmed COVID-19 cases, do not go to public places or take public transportation.
  1. Practice Good Hygiene. Good habits include the ones provided above.

The Y appreciates your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. We are stronger together, and together our communities and our country will meet and beat this challenge.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com