The YMCA opens new branch in Youngsville

Times Observer photo by Stacey Gross Dana Lenvay, supervisor of the YMCA Youngsville Branch.

The YMCA is moving on up.

Or moving on west, depending on how you put it.

To Youngsville, actually.

The Youngsville branch of the Warren County YMCA is set to open later this month.

As part of the capital campaign this year, said YMCA Director Thad Turner, the goal was to raise enough money to get one of the facility’s main goals finally out of the “goals” stage and into a “project” designation.

“We’ve always wanted to have some satellite facilities,” said Turner. “Youngsville, Sheffield, these are all places we’ve thought of from time to time.

The satellite office in Youngsville, according to Turner, is the one they ultimately decided to focus effort on this time around.

Turner said that borough officials and the Youngsville police — particularly Chief Todd Mineweaser — have been instrumental in working with the YMCA to make the Youngsville branch a reality.

“They’re just all really interested in seeing it happen, they’ve been right there working with us,” said Turner. “We’ve given them around 30 memberships to hand out at their discretion.”

Turner said after a lengthy discussion among YMCA administration, ultimately the decision to offer those memberships represented a part of the YMCA’s ultimate goal — to reach out to and nurture the potential of all people.

Turner hopes that the memberships will make the benefits of a YMCA membership available to those for whom transportation or other barriers prevent participation in YMCA services in Warren.

Also influencing the decision, said Turner, was a desire to keep membership the same regardless of where it’s being used.

“In talking with other YMCA directors where they’ve opened satellite branches,” said Turner, “it quickly became apparent that separate memberships for different branches got messy when it came to accounting and other issues.

“We want these memberships to bring people here (to Warren) as well,” he said. “A Y membership is a Y membership. We want anyone to come in here and see what we have and consider themselves a part of the YMCA as a whole.”

The Youngsville branch is also located adjacent to Island Park. For that reason, said Turner, “we’ve added some equipment out there so that if the Y is open anyone who’s using the courts or the park can come in and check out a ball, or a hula hoop, or a frisbee. Just whatever might be available for them to use.”

Turner hopes the Youngsville branch of the YMCA can be an asset to county residents who live in Youngsville, but also to those who might find the location convenient based on where they work or otherwise do business throughout the county. In addition to the facility there, which includes some free weights, cardio, and precore-style weight equipment, Turner said the Youngsville facility will also begin offering a few classes and organized exercise opportunities once they start getting an idea of what needs the community has that they could meet.

“I think it’s going to be an asset to the community,” said Turner.

The Youngsville Branch of the YMCA will have an open house on August 23 before and after music in the park, and the grand opening will begin on August 27.

For more information on the Youngsville YMCA and programs it may offer, call the Warren YMCA at (814) 726-7124.