Hundreds go to YMCA open house Visitors find pool, fitness center, gym

January 17, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Swimmers, fitness fanatics, basketball players and toddlers can find something to do at the Carroll County Family YMCA.

"I love it," said Randy Insley, 41, of Westminster, who came to an open house at the facility at 1719 Sykesville Road yesterday for a swim. He joined the YMCA, which opened June 1, after Leisure Health Spa in Westminster closed last year.

He said he likes the center because it's new and the pool is longer than the one at Leisure.

Several hundred people visited the YMCA yesterday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the open house.

Staffers wearing red sweat shirts gave visitors tours of the gym, fitness center, locker rooms, pool, nursery and day-care center. They distributed free passes for anyone who wanted to try the facilities.

"Service is real important," Office Manager Sarah Cornett told visitors. "If you don't like our service, you get your money back."

The YMCA has about 2,500 members, Executive Director David Stevenson said. About 20 percent of them are part of a scholarship program in which 10 percent to 90 percent of membership fees are waived, he said.

"We will never turn anyone away because of their financial ability or inability," he said.

A family membership is $410 a year, plus a $150 initiation fee; an individual membership is $295 a year, plus the fee. Payments may be made monthly, Ms. Cornett said.

The YMCA has started a campaign called "Keeping Families First" to raise $20,000 to offer more scholarships, he said. A similar campaign last year raised $15,000.

The pool is six lanes wide and 25 yards long. It has a ramp for use by handicapped people and others, such as pregnant women, who can't use steps to get into the pool. The handicapped may use two plastic wheelchairs on the ramp that were donated by the Westminster Lions Club, Ms. Cornett said. A lifeguard is on duty at all times, she said.

The gym, which has a rubberized floor, is used for basketball and volleyball games, aerobics and dance classes, sock hops and communitymeetings, Ms. Cornett said. It is about half the size of a standard basketball court.

The fitness center, with windows that face the lobby, has up-to-date work-out equipment and trained fitness instructors, she said.

A nursery with baby-sitting service is available for parents while they're exercising, and a licensed day-care center operates during the week for 60 tots ages 2 to 4, Ms. Cornett said.

An outside pavilion with enough picnic tables to seat 120 people is available for family parties, she said.

The YMCA also has an outdoor volleyball court and ball fields.

"There's definitely enough for everybody here," said John Piazza of Westminster, who toured the Y with his wife, Shirley. They are considering a family membership for themselves and their 14-year-old daughter and 22-year-old son.

Traces of bacteria were found in the YMCA's well water this summer, but the water is fine now, Mr. Stevenson said. The facility has applied to hook up to the city water system because the well will not be adequate as the YMCA expands, he said.

The Y employs about 80 people now and more than 100 in the summer, Mr. Stevenson said.

The YMCA is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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