After a 1981 fire, the top three floors of the historic Rahway (New Jersey) YMCA branch stood vacant—until now. In two weeks, the Gateway Family YMCA will unveil the newly renovated branch, which includes a fitness center and many other amenities.
Two years ago, the Gateway Family YMCA financed a portion of the $3.4 million needed for the 16,938-square-foot renovation and received the remainder of the funding through grants and private donors. On June 8, the branch will begin a week-long grand opening celebration.
Prior to the renovations, the lower level and street level of the building, which was constructed in 1917, were in use. These levels housed a gymnasium, pool, fitness studio, cardiovascular fitness center, weight room, multi-purpose room, locker rooms and welcome center. The expansion will allow those areas and programs to be expanded. The renovations mean new locker rooms, four multi-purpose studios, a dedicated child-watch area, and a new member lounge, lobby and front entrance. In addition, the branch has added an accessible entrance, elevator and lift for pool access.
To make the YMCA consistent with city officials' vision for the arts, the Y also added five loft workspaces that can be rented by local artists, a dedicated arts director and specialized arts programming. Members also can take advantage of expanded building hours and other programs and services at the renovated branch.
"These changes were created to provide a welcoming environment, which encourages sustainable, positive transformations in the individuals and families we serve," Krystal R. Canady, the Y's CEO, said in a release. "It is our hope that these renovations will enhance our ability to assist more people every day."