New YMCA to open by summer’s end

A new swimming pool, teen center, gym and fitness room are just some of the upgraded services that w
Fulton County YMCA Chief Executive Officer Steve Serge looks over the Fanch Family Pool on Wednesday. Serge says that he expects the facility will be completed by Labor Day.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Fulton County YMCA Chief Executive Officer Steve Serge looks over the Fanch Family Pool on Wednesday. Serge says that he expects the facility will be completed by Labor Day.

A new swimming pool, teen center, gym and fitness room are just some of the upgraded services that will soon be offered at the $7.5 million YMCA set to open in September at Harrison Street and Route 29.

The 68,000-square-foot building will include a gym about twice the size of a regular basketball court, according to Fulton County YMCA Chief Executive Officer Steven Serge.

The gym surface will be a rubber-based material that will be used for sports, including basketball, volleyball, soccer and tennis.

“This will be a magnificent, state-of-the-art YMCA,” Serge said. “It will be literally one of the top quality YMCAs in the entire country.”

The new facility will also house a six-lane, 25-yard, competition-sized swimming pool and a 7,000-square-foot fitness center with new equipment, Serge said.

The teen center will include traditional activities such as pool and table tennis and will also have about a dozen computers donated to the YMCA by General Electric.

The computers will have Internet access and use filters to prevent teens from viewing inappropriate material, Serge said.

The new YMCA site will also have a fenced-in playground and about 10 acres of outdoor space with basketball and baseball fields.

“I think this is going to be a magnificent jewel of the community,” Serge said. “It will tremendously enhance the quality of life with regards to recreational services and activities.”

The Fulton County YMCA has about 2,000 members and an annual budget of $1.4 million. Revenues come from a combination of grants, fundraisers, membership fees and donations.

Membership will be required to use the new YMCA facilities, but Serge said the YMCA will work with anyone who wants to buy a membership but has financial difficulty doing so.

He said the YMCA subsidized more than $67,000 last year in free or reduced-rate memberships and services.

The Fulton County YMCA is currently split between branches in Johnstown and Gloversville. Once the new facility is operating, membership activities at those two branches will cease.

The Johnstown branch will be permanently closed and the YMCA will look to sell the building. Membership activities will close at the Gloversville branch, although a residency program there will remain.

Currently, the Gloversville branch has housing for 23 men. The YMCA has proposed using a $3.5 million grant to add 10 rooms for men, 10 rooms for women in a separate area and four apartments that would accommodate women and their children.

That expansion still needs government approvals before it can move forward.

The new YMCA is being built by Halfmoon-based Bast Hatfield. The Fulton County YMCA has already raised about $5.5 million of the $7.5 million for the project. Officials hope to raise another $500,000 for the project and then take out a mortgage on the remaining $1.5 million.

The YMCA still needs various state and local approvals before the new facility will be operational, but Serge called the necessary approvals routine and said he is hopeful the YMCA will open by Labor Day on Sept. 1.

For example, the YMCA still needs approval from the state Department of Health for the indoor swimming pool and a certificate of occupancy for the building from the town of Johnstown.

“We do not see any unusual circumstances where anything would prevent us from getting all the necessary approval,” Serge said. “We’re glad to be moving forward.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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