YMCA re­opens with a new look, same mis­sion

Pottstown YMCA re­opens with a new look but with the same mis­sion

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michilea Pat­ter­son

It has the same equip­ment and of­fers the same ser­vices, but now the look is just a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

The newly ren­o­vated Pottstown YMCA was re­vealed to the com­mu­nity this past week­end with a grand re­open­ing and open house cel­e­bra­tion.

Mem­bers and non-mem­bers toured the fa­cil­ity with staff and learned about the re­cent up­dates made to the fa­cil­ity as well as what more will come.

The of­fi­cial re­veal comes about a year after it was an­nounced the well­ness fa­cil­ity would be clos­ing this past June. About a month be­fore the clos­ing date, the com­mu­nity be­came aware that the Y would re­main open due to en­tre­pre­neur Charles Gu­lati pur­chas­ing the build­ing from the Philadel­phia Free­dom Val­ley YMCA.

The Pottstown branch was able to con­tinue to serve the lo­cal com­mu­nity with some changes. The Y now shares the build­ing with other ten­ants in­clud­ing cur­rently a karate stu­dio and stu­dent ath­lete train­ing pro­gram.

“That’s the new owner’s vi­sion, that this is a blended well­ness cen­ter,” said Pottstown YMCA Se­nior Pro­gram Di­rec­tor Lo­gan Fin­er­frock.

Fin­er­frock spent Satur­day show­ing peo­ple the YMCA spa­ces and ex­plain­ing re­cent changes the area had un­der­gone. The YMCA por­tions of the build­ing are now on the first floor with the ex­cep­tion of the track and bas­ket­ball gym which are up­stairs and still avail­able to mem­bers.

“We took the well­ness cen­ter that was up­stairs and brought it down­stairs. Al­most all of the equip­ment is ex­actly the same,” Fin­er­frock said.

The well­ness cen­ter was spilt into two when it moved to the lower level.

When peo­ple en­ter the build­ing through the main front en­trance, all the car­dio equip­ment is on one side and di­rectly across that space is a room with all the strength train­ing equip­ment. The car­dio room has a line of tread­mills and sta­tion­ary bikes.

Fin­er­frock said new ma­chin­ery is com­ing to the area in 2019.

She said the strength room has “se­lec­tor­ized” equip­ment.

“Selec­tor­ize equip­ment is weight train­ing equip­ment but it al­lows you to select your weight re­ally eas­ily … and it keeps you in the proper form so it’s there for you to stay safe as well,” Fin­er­frock said.

She went on to ex­plain that there were free weights and plated ma­chines in the back of the strength train­ing room as well as an area that gets lots of nat­u­ral sun­light of­ten used for stretch­ing.

Right in front of the strength room is the lobby area which Fin­er­frock said is a place where mem­bers en­joy drink­ing cof­fee and so­cial­iz­ing with oth­ers. She said ren­o­va­tions are in store for the lobby in­clud­ing brand-new fur­ni­ture so there’s a “cof­fee­house feel.”

“The new owner is all about com­fort and just get­ting peo­ple gath­er­ing,” Fin­er­frock said.

No vis­i­ble changes have been made to the in­door pool on the first floor but Fin­er­frock said the space was closed to in­stall a new fil­tra­tion and pump sys­tem. Fu­ture ren­o­va­tions in the pool area in­clude tile work.

The pool is a pop­u­lar desti­na­tion for mem­bers and is used for many ac­tiv­i­ties such as swim lessons and aqua ex­er­cise classes.

“Swim lessons are for all ages … We have them for adults all the way down to ba­bies,” Fin­er­frock said.

She said aqua Zumba and weight-based aqua classes are very pop­u­lar ex­er­cises done in the pool be­cause par­tic­i­pants get low-im­pact car­dio.

For­mer child­care rooms were trans­formed into two group ex­er­cise stu­dios. In each area, walls were taken down to open the space and spe­cial floor­ing lim­its the im­pact on the body when mov­ing. The rooms also have a new sound sys­tem.

Those that vis­ited the YMCA dur­ing the re­open­ing had the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in fit­ness class demon­stra­tions.

Jes­sica War­rick, 37, of Pottstown joined a fam­ily Zumba dance fit­ness class with her eight-year-old daugh­ter Aya­nia War­rick. The mother-daugh­ter duo had a lot of the fun in the class and even got a visit from the YMCA mas­cot Y-Doh dur­ing the 30-minute demon­stra­tion.

Aya­nia said the YMCA looks “cooler” and she liked ex­er­cis­ing with her mom in the fam­ily fit­ness class. War­rick said she likes the re­cent changes to the Y and is happy that ev­ery­thing is now on one level. She said the ren­o­vated group ex­er­cise room looks bet­ter than it did be­fore.

Fin­er­frock said the YMCA still has the same equip­ment and of­fers the same ser­vices but now the look is just a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

“The beau­ti­ful thing about this change is that we’re still here. We’re still in the com­mu­nity,” she said.

There were sev­eral lo­cal com­mu­nity groups that joined to­gether to save the Pottstown YMCA after there was news of its clos­ing. The NAACP Pottstown Chap­ter was one of those groups that urged the Philadel­phia Free­dom Val­ley YMCA to keep the Pottstown branch open.

Pottstown NAACP Pres­i­dent Johnny Cor­son said the lo­cal chap­ter en­cour­ages the com­mu­nity to sup­port the YMCA by uti­liz­ing the fa­cil­ity. He said many groups fought hard to keep the Y in the area and he hopes YMCA ser­vices of­fered con­tinue to ex­pand.

“The mis­sion state­ment of the Y has al­ways been to help the un­der­priv­i­leged. To help those less for­tu­nate and give them the op­por­tu­nity to have ser­vices that they could not af­ford to have,” Cor­son said.

Cor­son said the YMCA is a place where peo­ple of all types of back­grounds are able to come to­gether. He added that the well­ness fa­cil­ity is also im­por­tant for Pottstown youth.

“We have no com­mu­nity swim­ming pool, so this is re­ally the only swim­ming pool avail­able. They give swim­ming lessons that can save our young peo­ple’s lives,” Cor­son said.

Pottstown YMCA Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Scott Cus­worth said the Y ap­pre­ci­ates the sup­port of the Pottstown NAACP. He said the lo­cal chap­ter has a sim­i­lar mis­sion to the YMCA.

“Our role is to serve peo­ple and make sure re­sources are avail­able for the Pottstown Com­mu­nity,” Cus­worth said.

The Pottstown YMCA is lo­cated at 724 N. Adams St.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Pottstown YMCA, visit the Face­book page at www.face­book.com/ PottstownY or call 610-323-7300.


Pottstown YMCA staff pose for a photo in front of the in­door pool which re­cently got a new fil­tra­tion and pump sys­tem to make sure the wa­ter stays clean and safe. The up­dates is one of many that the Pottstown branch has re­cently un­der­gone.


From left to right, YMCA and Pottstown NAACP mem­ber Abby Weller-Hall, YMCA mem­ber Jim Fry­moyer, Pottstown NAACP Pres­i­dent Johnny Cor­son (lay­ing on the floor), long­time Pottstown YMCA sup­porter and mem­ber Yvonne Jones and Pottstown YMCA Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Scott Cus­worth pose for a photo dur­ing the Pottstown YMCA grand re-open­ing and open house cel­e­bra­tion.


Pottstown YMCA Aquat­ics Su­per­vi­sor Aimee Gil­bert dances dur­ing a fam­ily Zumba demon­stra­tion class while wear­ing the “Y-Doh the Y Dog” mas­cot uni­form dur­ing the well­ness cen­ter’s re­open­ing.


Hya­lene Nash, 73, and Aya­nia War­rick, 8, ex­er­cise dur­ing a Zumba class demon­stra­tion in the newly ren­o­vated Pottstown YMCA fit­ness stu­dio.


Aya­nia War­rick, 8, smiles big as she does ex­er­cises dur­ing a fam­ily Zumba fit­ness class at the Pottstown YMCA. War­rick and her mom par­tic­i­pated in the class demon­stra­tion dur­ing the Y’s re-open­ing and open house cel­e­bra­tion.


Jes­sica War­rick, 37, of Pottstown, has fun in a fam­ily Zumba class demon­stra­tion dur­ing the Pottstown YMCA’s re­open­ing and open house. War­rick par­tic­i­pated in the class with her 8-year-old daugh­ter.


Pottstown YMCA Se­nior Pro­gram Di­rec­tor Lo­gan Fin­er­frock gives a tour of the ren­o­vated strength train­ing room dur­ing the fa­cil­ity’s re­open­ing and open house.

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