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.