KTBS 3: YMCA Close to Opening

By Neil Shaw |  nshaw@ktbs.com

Published 12/11/16

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They are big dreamers. The Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the YMCA which is getting closer to opening a state of the art facility. BHP Billition put up a big contribution as a donation to the YMCA to start this project. Sammy Halphen tell KTBS “We are proud to be partnering with the YMCA. This a world class campus and facility that will serve families and community”

YMCA CEO Gary Lash talks of the excitement surrounding the new “Y” and says “We are we are excited about this opportunity we have to serve the community and are so thankful for BHP Billiton and their seed gift to get thing started.”

The construction began in April. As of early December, not complete but completely impressive so far. this new building is spacious “This way you are looking at our wellness studio it is approximately 5000 square feet. It will have some cardio equipment, actually a lot of cardio equipment. We’ll have some weights, some strength equipment.” states Misti Alexander who is the fitness coordinator for the YMCA.

There is a new gymnasium and other Crossfit training rooms, along with 2 swimming pools. One a “family” and the other an Olympic sized pool.

Aquatics Director Mason McGee says “our natatorium and one of the things you will notice is the size of it. This is a 50 meter pool. We actually have a bulkhead sitting in the middle and will be able to divide it into two 25 yard pools giving us a total of 16 lanes. Just to put into perspective it’s unlike anything in the area. 16 lanes will allow for swim team to be swimming while class is going on. Swim lesson going on while other swimming going on. There is just so many ways to program a space this size.”

Gary Lash further states “We have some excellent programs and not just swim and gym. We have reading programs. We have sports to get the kids involved so they are not out doing other things and putting families together. This facility here is as important as the downtown facility when it was built in 1924 and it was the center of the whole community.”

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