By John Burton
RED BANK — The public was invited to see the results of the Community YMCA’s long planned, multi-million dollar makeover during an open house at their newly renovated facility at 166 Maple Ave.
“We knocked down a lot of walls and created open, welcoming space,” the Y’s Vice President of Communications and Collaborations Andrea Plaza said last Saturday.
The approximately 65,000 square-foot and 41-year-old facility has been redone to make it more inviting for its diverse population of members in a construction project that took about 9 months. Plaza said space has been created or expanded expressly for children’s physical activity, such as the new youth and teen center, which contains equipment designed for the younger members. Also for the younger crowd is the redone child watch room, which is more than double its previous size, now at 1,200 square feet, and offers free babysitting, Plaza explained.
The facility’s second floor now has the Health Seekers Room, which provides a quieter space, “for an individual who is committed to making a change to healthier lifestyle,” Plaza said, “and who needs help with making those changes.”
On the first floor, additional room has been added to accommodate parents waiting for their kids, and for those who have completed their workouts and just want a moment’s relaxation and a place to interact. To help with the latter, the Y has opened a refreshment bar near the main entrance.
As part of the new plan, the Y has modified its memberships levels from two to one, with all members now eligible to use all of the facility’s programs and equipment, Plaza said.
The annual family membership fee is $92 per month.
Longtime member Tom Wilkens seemed pleased by the changes. Wilkens, Middletown, is a former Olympic swim team member. “I started to swim here,” he recalled on Saturday.
“For me, growing up, this was like a second home.” Now, he brings his kids to the Y, and still gets a little time in the pool. “It’s always my default exercise,” he said.
The Y’s Red Bank facility has about 8,000 members. The total number of members for all Monmouth County facilities is 20,000, Plaza said.