The first thing you notice about the new and improved North Lexington YMCA on West Loudon Avenue is the health and wellness center, which looks as if it has been teleported there from an impossibly posh gym.
The space, which before could have politely been called cramped, has doubled from its original 3,500 square feet. The exercise machines are new and numerous, the aerobics machines with their own television screens. The ceiling soars upward to a cluster of five Big Ass fans. A wall of windows will bring in the sun but repel heat and UV rays.
The $3 million expansion of the YMCA is being spurred by a $1.5 million matching gift from Lexmark, which donated the land.
The North Lexington YMCA had been closed since shortly before Christmas so that construction could be completed. Just down the street, LexTran is building its new headquarters on 13 acres.
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Opened in 2000 — as was the Beaumont YMCA — the North Lexington YMCA will open again on Jan. 22, this time with the amenities and finishes that David Martorano, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Kentucky, thinks its 5,200 members have come to expect.
“What I love is that we’ve incorporated the old with the new,” Martorano said.
Upgraded finishes include fashionable tiny subway tiles in the new locker room showers, shiny slip-resistant epoxy finishes on some of the floors, family locker rooms and two spec- needs locker rooms.
Two rooms will be available for group exercise and classes, and the basketball court/gymnasium is getting new LED lighting, fresh paint and an upgraded heating and cooling system.
The child-care area has been moved up front, with increased space, new fixtures and new flooring.
Martorano hopes the North Lexington YMCA will draw new members from the Citation Boulevard/Masterson Station corridor, as well as from the new developments and residents along North Limestone and Newtown Pike.
The North Lexington YMCA is the first of the new YMCA of Central Kentucky debuts for 2016.
The Hamburg Place YMCA will open in the summer at 2681 Old Rosebud Road. It will have 62,000 square feet and include an aquatic complex with lap lanes and recreational play features, extended outdoor spray ground, health and wellness center, gymnasium, indoor track, group exercise studios and a youth development wing.
Memberships will be sold beginning in April.
“We’re in the process of transforming all our facilities,” said Martorano, who came to the Central Kentucky YMCA system in 2013 after an eight-year tenure with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.
At the C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA, which has 20,000 members, locker rooms will be renovated in a $300,000 upgrade which will begin in the first quarter of 2016.
At the downtown YMCA, a redevelopment is planned of the High Street location, which has 6,000 members. A finalization of the schematic design is expected to be unveiled later in 2016.
See the improvements
Community open houses at the North Lexington YMCA are scheduled for 1-4 p.m., Jan. 24 and 31. Tours will be offered and memberships will be given away and the facility will be open for use for free. The formal ribbon cutting is 10 a.m. Jan. 26. Tours will be available after the ribbon cutting.