The renovation will shift the fitness areas of the building to the second floor to create safe areas for children on the first floor Photo courtesy Central YMCA

The renovation will shift the fitness areas of the building to the second floor to create safe areas for children on the first floor. (Photo courtesy Central YMCA).

Ohio YMCA Set to Begin $5 Million Renovation

The YMCA of Youngstown, Ohio, is renovating its 100-year-old downtown Central YMCA building this year with a $5 million project

The YMCA of Youngstown, Ohio, is renovating its 100-year-old downtown Central YMCA building this year with a $5 million project.

The project to upgrade areas in the building is expected to begin as soon as financing is closed in the next few days, according to a Vindicator report. The renovations are funded by a combination of fundraising, donations, New Markets Tax Credits and the Y's resources. Planning and fundraising efforts began in 2014 to provide a better facility for the next 20 to 30 years.

“It will make it much more accessible to every kind of person,” Central YMCA Executive Director Mike Shaffer told the Vindicator, adding that the new building will allow the Y to expand its selection of fitness classes and youth programs.

The renovation will shift the fitness areas of the building to the second floor to create safe areas for children on the first floor. The proposed design for the new Y shows four wellness areas with room for cardio and weight equipment, a multipurpose studio and a stretching area on the second floor. The building's front lobby and facade will be renovated, new lighting will be installed and large pane glass windows will allow members working out in the cardio studio to overlook downtown.

The proposed design for the first floor shows room for office space, a kids' adventure and child care area, a meeting room, a lobby and a members' lobby. Other renovations include an area for teen programs, including a music recording and performing arts studio.

The building will remain open during the renovations with occasional class changes and building access restrictions, according to the Y. The Central YMCA also is allowing members to fill out comment cards during the construction phase, which it will review daily.

The Central YMCA building was dedicated by former President William Howard Taft in 1915. The current renovation project is the area's first major YMCA project since the construction of the D.D. & Velma Davis Family YMCA in Boardman in 2003. The addition of the Davis YMCA resulted in the YMCA of Youngstown tripling its membership to more than 17,000.

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