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New Y to Focus on Intergenerational Programming

PRIOR LAKE, MN -- The 50,000-square-foot River Valley YMCA is slated to open Saturday, with an open house for charter members scheduled for Friday.

Intergenerational activities will be a strong component of the new Y since it is physically connected to both the McKenna Crossing senior living facility and the Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, Mark Ihrke, the Y’s executive director told the Prior Lake (MN) American.

The Y hopes to have McKenna Crossing residents volunteer in its Early Childhood Learning Center designed for kids 6 weeks to 6 years old. It also will offer fitness programs geared to older adults, he said.

“McKenna residents are very excited about our opening. We have great opportunities for intergenerational programming,” Ihrke said.

The Y’s fitness center will feature new strength, free weight and cardio equipment with personal flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations. The Y’s youth activity center will feature XRKade virtual gaming exercise equipment, as well as an indoor playscape and kids gymnasium. The Y hosts two indoor pools, one lap and one leisure, with a vortex pool feature and outdoor splash deck. It also will offer group exercise classes in two studios for seniors, adults and kids.

Construction on the new facility began in July 2008. Community volunteers raised the $4 million in donations needed to break ground, while another $5 million came from the YMCA organization.

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