Ribbon Cut

Lincoln Area YMCA hosts open house and ribbon cutting at Wyatt Avenue facility

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[December 09, 2021]   On Monday, December 13th at 5 p.m., the community is invited to attend an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Lincoln YMCA Youth Activity Center on Wyatt Avenue in Lincoln.

In early November it was announced that the Lincoln YMCA was merging with the Springfield branch to form a stronger offering for the local Y. With the merger, the downtown business offices on Broadway Street in Lincoln were closed and staff re-established with new offices at the Youth Activity Center on Wyatt Avenue.

The Wyatt Avenue address is expanding its services to the community. The ribbon cut on Monday will celebrate that expansion of services and offer the community an opportunity to take a fresh look at YMCA programs now that the merger is in place.

Recently Joey Greenwood, who is serving as branch overseer for both Springfield and Lincoln, and Lynn Eck, who works in marketing and development for both Springfield and Lincoln, joined local staff members Kristina Snellen and Bonnie Myers, who are part of the youth development and membership development in Lincoln to talk about the changes and the future of the Y in Lincoln.
 


In 2019, it was announced that the Lincoln YMCA and the Lincoln Memorial Hospital were partnering to bring a new $27 million facility to the citys west side, along Woodlawn Road near the hospital. Those plans are still in place and hopes are high that sometime in the future the construction of that facility will begin. Eck noted that the coronavirus had an impact on the original timeline for construction. Now, construction material demand is at an all-time high, and there are also reported shortages that are hindering the project. She said there is currently no timeline in place for the new facility, but they are looking forward to the day when that building can be built and completed.

In the meantime, the move to consolidate the services of the local Y into one location is a partial step toward that end result of a new facility with expanded services.

The Wyatt Avenue address is a property owned by the Oddfellows. The Greenwood and Eck noted that the Oddfellows have done some building improvements to accommodate the Ys expansion of services.

Inside, the Y is now offering an adult workout area, which is new and part of the evolution to the new facility.

The basement portion of the large brick gymnasium building has two large rooms. One room has been fitted-out as a weight and exercise room, while the other has been fitted as a cardio workout room.

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Upstairs the large gymnasium area is much the same as it has always been. Snellen and Myers both have offices upstairs and the wide open space of the gymnasium is a great place for youngsters to play and exercise on their own.

Greenwood said that the offices on Broadway Street were administrative with no services or activities offered there. Merging the two locations onto Wyatt Avenue brings staffing to the Wyatt address on a regular basis.

The open gymnasium and the workout rooms in the basement allow families to come to the Y together and split up for exercise. Greenwood said that adults and youth above the age of 13 years old may utilize the workout rooms. Youth ages eight through 12 may utilize the upstairs area for general play and exercise. Staff will be in the offices nearby to keep an eye out for children, and the Wellness Coach on hand will float back and forth from downstairs to upstairs to make sure that all visitors are doing well while at the Y.

Greenwood and Eck said that what is being offered now is the first step to an expansion of services at the Lincoln YMCA. Expansion of services will continue after the new year and one goal is to establish group fitness classes.

The open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday will be an opportunity for the community to visit the Wyatt Avenue location, speak with staff about the new and improved services at the Y, the services yet to come, and also take a tour of the building to see what is new now.

There will be activities and games upstairs for youth and snacks for guests.

Eck said that there is also a membership drive with special pricing offered starting Monday the 13th and running through December20th.

The group will gather at 5 p.m. for a ribbon cutting ceremony with anticipation that the Springfield/Lincoln CEO Angie Sowle will be on hand along with Greenwood, Eck, Snellen and Myers, and some of the local YMCA board members. All these people will be available after the cut to discuss programs and the future of the YMCA with guests.

The Lincoln area YMCA is open to anyone within the community and all residents of Logan County are encouraged to come out Monday evening and get to know the newest version of the local Y.


[Nila Smith]

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