The YMCA in Beckley will relaunch on August 31 with renovated building and upgrades

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The YMCA of Southern West Virginia has announced that it will reopen to its members on Monday, August 31st at 5:00 AM. The Y, whose facilities have been closed since the lock down in March, received several upgrades to its top floor, including an expanded Wellness Center with new state-of-the-art MATRIX equipment.

“We’re very excited to show our members what we’ve been up to the last couple of months,” said Jay Rist, CEO for the Y, who added, “I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised with what we’ve accomplished in the first phase of our renovation project.”

The Y initially closed down on March 16th as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, GRO Development, who had already started developing a plan for how the Y could change the spaces inside its downtown facility prior to outbreak, submitted Schematic and Interior Design recommendations. Since the Y was closed, it was the perfect time to start on Phase I, which addressed the top floor of the building. The Y’s full-time staff got on board right away with the demoing and site prep work while Rist served as the project manager working directly with suppliers and subs to get the finishing work done.


The Y’s top level is now a true health & wellness floor complete with brand new MATRIX free weight and cardio equipment, re-padded selectorized equipment, sports performance flooring, express lockers, LED lighting, unisex changing areas and sanitization stations. The Y also created a larger lobby/lounge area to feature a more welcoming front desk and access point as well as a lounge with easy to clean furniture and tables, a place for students to study, kids to wait on their parents or vice versa. It also received brand new LVT flooring and LED lighting.

“Essentially, we have set up the top floor to easily function if things like our locker rooms, pool, gym, group ex studios etc. would have to get locked down again due to the pandemic.” said Rist.


As the Y forges forward to its opening day, Rist and his team are eyeing the next projects for Phase II & beyond, including:

1. Elevator Accessibility

  1. Intergen/Feeding Kitchen – to serve meals to hungry kids & provide a space for all kids to engage and hang out.
  2. Child Watch & Admin Wing – a mezzanine level built in our former racquetball court space. It would give us an additional 1600 sq. ft.
  3. Wellness Expansion – Addition of a Mind/Body studio.
  4. Rooftop Terrace – for outdoor classes.

“Probably our biggest priority is getting an elevator installed to offer our members sure-fire access to all three floors, and our second priority is transforming the former weight room into the Intergen/Feeding Kitchen,” Rist said, adding, “We’re working with our board and staff to narrow the focus of the next phase, so we’ll see what’s up next.”


The renovation project has been supported by the redirection of capital campaign donations received for the construction of a new Y that unfortunately did not go through.

“We’re very thankful that our donors decided to join us as we went with this alternative plan,” 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.”

While Phase I is nearing its completion, Rist says that the Y is continuing to accept donations to support future phases.

Donors may support the “Remodel, Revitalize, Relaunch the Y” project by contacting Rist via e-mail,, and after the Y reopens on the 31st at 304 252 0715 x 308.


As the Y gets ready to reopen, Rist encourages all of its members to visit the Y’s page detailing what can be expected when they visit. The information can be found at

“It is very important that our members visit the page prior to their first day back,” Rist said, adding “It has a lot of critical information that is essential for everyone’s safety and enjoyment while at the Y.”

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