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Marietta YMCA announces expansion

MARIETTA — The Marietta Family YMCA, after moving to smaller quarters several months ago, has announced an expansion.

The nonprofit abandoned its large, aging headquarters on Seventh Street by the Frontier Shopping Center as membership declined and the expense of maintaining the 22,000-square-foot center became unsustainable. The organization cut its programming but kept the well-subscribed and popular child care service, relocating it to a space adjacent to Goodwill Industries on Colegate Drive where some group fitness classes also were offered.

Starting Jan. 6, the YMCA is getting back in the fitness business in a bigger way.

YMCA board President Rick Smith said the organization struck an agreement to take a 1,300-square foot space in the Broughton Commercial Properties complex on Ohio 821 north of Marietta.

“Our new CEO, Rob O’Hara, had some meetings with George Broughton, and they came to an agreement,” said Smith. “We should be open the first week of January.”

The YMCA will move its group fitness programs to the Broughton Center and out of the Colegate Drive space, allowing more space for the child care service, Smith said.

“That front room (at the Colegate facility) can now be strictly for child care,” Smith said.

“That service is on the cusp of being oversold now, and planning for the future, we have the ability to take on more children in the next year. That’s our biggest revenue producer and the service most wanted by the community, so we hope to be able to fill the anticipated demand,” he said.

The Broughton location will also offer the YMCA flexibility.

“The complex is really large,” Smith said. “We will have 1,300 square feet for group fitness and aerobics, and the next phase could allow us to offer weightlifting and treadmills. It allows us the capability to expand without going to a third location, and it’s also next to the outdoor trails (in the Broughton Nature Preserve), which is great if we offered outdoor programs.”

YMCA board treasurer Debbie Lazorik said the expansion is a step toward re-establishing the organization’s profile in the community.

“I think it’s a great next step,” she said. “After making the decision to sell the Seventh Street building, as a board we talked about the future, and to look to grow at the appropriate time. Child care and health and fitness are our core missions, both of them are stabilized and are healthy, and this seems like the right time for growth.”

The January opening date is important, she said.

“There’s that window of opportunity in health and fitness, the holidays are over, people are making New Year’s resolutions or just trying to get back into their routine,” she said.

Lazorik also commended George Broughton.

“George Broughton has been a long-time supporter of the Y, he’s been with us along the way, during the times of tough decisions, he’s always expressed continued support for the YMCA,” she said.

The YMCA hasn’t wavered in its dedication to Marietta, she said.

“It’s our commitment to maintain the YMCA in our community,” she said. “There was never a time when we didn’t believe the Y would have a presence here.”

Michael Kelly can be contacted at mkelly@mariettatimes.com.

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