Frederick County residents living in the south of the county will soon have access to a brand new YMCA.
The South County Family Y, a 62,000 square foot space, is set to open April 5 and will provide several different amenities including, a health and wellness center, an aquatic center and a gymnasium. There will also be several programs available including group exercise classes, disease management classes and summer camps.
“Many people know that this is probably the fastest growing area within Frederick County and so we wanted to kind of take advantage of that,” said Chris Colville, president and chief executive officer for the YMCA of Frederick County. “It’s also an underserved area of the county. There really aren’t a lot of amenities or places for kids to congregate or activities for families and so we thought that the Y … could be instrumental in connecting those dots.”
The building is located between Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School. Ground was broken on the project in November 2019.
Charlie Seymour, Turning Point Commercial and YMCA South County Advisory Board Chair, also spoke about the growth in Urbana, in a news release from the Y.
“Active Older Adults and Families in this area need the support and essential programming offered by the YMCA for healthy living and youth development,” Seymour said, according to the release.
Part of the property that the Y is located on is also going to be sold to the hospital to create a medical complex.
“We’re going to try to create a health and wellness campus right here on this property,” Colville said.
Those who are already members at the Y in downtown Frederick, will have access to the Urbana facility, as the membership is to the YMCA of Frederick County, not just one location. Memberships fees are also the same.
Colville said they hope that they’ve created a “wow factor” for people coming to the facility for the first time.
“The first thing you’re going to see is just a wall full of glass and a phenomenal aquatic center,” she said.
The aquatic center has two pools. One is a warm water therapy and family splash pool, which is connected but divided into two sections. The second, larger pool has diving boards and lanes.
The facility also has a teaching kitchen that can be closed off for private classes. Next to the kitchen is a large community room that could be utilized during events such as pool parties or swim meets.
“In our partnership with FCPS and part of the county money that we received. We received $3.6 million in partnership with the county and that was to help buy access to FCPS students and their competitive swims teams to be able to practice here,” Colville said.
She noted that when the old Frederick High School was torn down, the pool was not replaced.
“So there’s 10 high school teams currently practicing in two pools,” she said, adding that part of the agreement with the county is also that people can get day passes to access the pool.
Other rooms include the Fun Zone for children and the Intergenerational Center, a place where older people can spend time earlier in the day and teenagers can spend time later. It has direct access to the gymnasium next door.
Colville said one goal for the facility was to have space that was flexible. Another goal is to be inclusive and embrace diversity, which is one reason the facility has a men’s, women’s and family locker rooms. The family locker room has individual rooms for individuals or families to change and shower in.
“We want people to feel safe. We want people to feel comfortable,” she said.
Upstairs, amenities include workout equipment, an indoor track, an aerobics room and a rooftop deck area.
Colville noted that the Y is never going to do business the same way it did before COVID-19.
“We will never be out of virtual teaching. We will never be out of the fitness on demand. We will always have that as an offer and we will probably never be out of the outdoor space teaching outdoors, so we will always have some class offerings that will remain as an option for outdoors at both locations,” she said, adding that there will also be hand sanitizer stations, temperature checks and masks required.
Equipment is also spaced out, there are wipes to clean equipment after use and there are cleaning practices in place.
After the opening on April 5, the South County Family Y will have open houses 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 10 and 11.