New YMCA gets positive reviews

The new $7.5 million Fulton County YMCA at Harrison Street and Route 29 is now open, complete with a

The new $7.5 million Fulton County YMCA at Harrison Street and Route 29 is now open, complete with a new swimming pool, exercise room, gym and other state-of-the-art features.

On Thursday, about two dozen kids enjoyed the swimming pool with staff during a day program there as a handful of adults worked out in the new fitness room.

The YMCA opened its doors on Monday and should have all of its programs and services up and running by early September, according to Member Services Director Peter Riley.

“It’s something that we’re all proud of and that the county should be very proud of,” Riley said.

He said the YMCA has about 1,600 members and has recruited 48 new members in the first two days that the new building was open.

The six-lane pool is 25 yards long and ranges in depth from 31⁄2 to 6 feet. The new facility has five locker rooms, with separate facilities for men, women, boys, girls and families.

The aquatic center also has a whirlpool, sauna and steam room.

“We’re glad to be open and the reaction from everybody’s whose come in has been exceptionally positive,” Fulton County YMCA Chief Executive Officer Steven Serge said. “We’ve been pleased with the response to this point.”

The new fitness room has four 52-inch televisions that face the 12 treadmills. Anyone working out on a treadmill can plug his headphones into a console on the treadmill and listen to the audio from the TV of choice.

There are also four stationary bicycles, eight elliptical machines and free weights ranging from 3 to 100 pounds.

“These are very smooth operating, very durable,” Riley said of the new exercise machines.

The fitness room also has a small walking track. Riley said 25 laps on the track equals one mile.

The gym has room for three basketball courts and has different colored boundary lines on the floor for volleyball, tennis, soccer and basketball.

Rectangular setbacks at either side of the gym’s wall serve as soccer nets. The gym also has a curtain in the middle that can be lowered to allow for separate activities in each half of the gym.

“It’s more like a mini fieldhouse,” Riley said. “It’s pretty flexible for pretty much anything you could think of.”

The YMCA has raised about $5.5 million to pay for the 68,000-square-foot building. Officials hope to raise another $500,000 towards the project and then take out a mortgage on the remaining $1.5 million.

The new YMCA was built by Halfmoon-based Bast Hatfield.

“This is excellent, an absolutely excellent building,” said Bleecker resident Robert Lang, who took a brief tour of the facility with Riley. “We will certainly participate.”

Riley said he has been giving tours to prospective members for at least 12 hours a day since the new YMCA opened, joking that he was getting plenty of exercise just walking around the facility.

Lang, who is a Bleecker town judge, said that he and his wife live in Florida during the cold months in the Capital Region and come back to Fulton County for about six months out of the year.

Membership is required to use the new facility, but officials at the YMCA will work with anyone who wants to buy a membership but can’t afford one.

The annual fee is $100 for anyone younger than 18, $480 for adults and $420 for seniors over 62. A family membership, which includes two adults and all children under 18 and any full-time college students under 25, is $660.

The YMCA has an annual budget of $1.4 million, with revenues coming from a combination of grants, fundraisers, membership fees and donations.

The YMCA has closed membership activities at its previous Johnstown and Gloversville branches, but a residency program for about two dozen men remains open in Gloversville.

Categories: Schenectady County

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