Anchorage YMCA Re-Opens Gym After Spending $750,000 on Earthquake Repairs

YMCA of Alaska
(Photo courtesy YMCA of Alaska.) The YMCA of Alaska was founded in 1967 and currently operates two locations in Anchorage with more than 5,000 members.

The YMCA of Alaska's flagship location in Anchorage is fully operational again after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused $750,000 in damages to the facility's gymnasium in November 2018.

The Y's Lake Otis Parkway facility re-opened its repaired gym on Nov. 30, exactly one year after the earthquake, with a free basketball skills clinic dubbed the inaugural Earthquake Classic, according to the Y.

During the earthquake, a 70-foot gym wall was dislodged 18 inches from its center, and the roof above the gym eventually began sagging, according to a KTVA11 report. Extensive engineering work was required to fix the space, but the Y was not insured against earthquake damages and paid for the repairs with a $700,000 loan and $50,000 in nationwide donations.

“The fact the building didn’t fall down was impressive enough, and now we’re up to today’s code so we’ll be able to handle another one," Y CEO Larry Parker told KTVA11. "There are Ys that have gone through floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, so when there is a natural disaster at Ys typically we come together and help each other out."

Parker told KTUU2 that memberships declined at the Otis Lake facility during the year-long repairs, and the debt incurred from the project will take the Y approximately 15 years to pay off.

The 52-year-old Y operates two locations in Anchorage and claims more than 5,000 members.

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