The YMCA of Greater Miami started downtown in 1916 with the dream of enhancing Dade County communities. In 1918, its first building was opened by just 300 members. Today, there are five YMCA locations throughout Dade County serving tens of thousands of members.
In just a few short weeks, the newest YMCA Family Center will open across from The Falls Shopping Center, replacing a facility that has far outgrown its bulging walls. The gleaming glass structure will allow vast expansion of an already thriving South Dade YMCA community.
By the numbers, this building is more than impressive. At 40,000-square feet, it houses a 7300-square foot basketball gymnasium, two hardwood floor exercise studios, two large community rooms, a 900-square foot Kids Zone (split into two age groups: toddler to 4 and ages 5-12), and a huge 2nd floor wellness center at nearly 7000-square feet. In short, there will be plenty of room for existing members and for explosive growth.
“We have roughly 4000 people with us right now in the old facility and we’ll more than triple that before the end of 2013,” says Executive Director Andy Weighill. “The new space really affords us the ability to vastly expand our programming for members.”
“The new facility is so much larger than our existing Family Center that you could easily fit that building inside the new gymnasium,” explains Charlotte Donn, Assistant VP of Marketing and Communications.
The best part of the new Y is how open everything feels. Windows let in tons of natural light and areas aren’t walled off – instead they flow into one another. The careful thought behind the facility is apparent at every turn, with efficient design evident everywhere and lots of room to grow. The locker rooms and equipment are state-of-the-art. No detail was left to chance.
With basketball moving indoors, the YMCA will add lacrosse, soccer and volleyball to their outdoor offerings. Camps will expand their options as well, even offering a Princesses Camp to young girls.
Once the facility opens, the old building will be torn down. Within 2-3 years, a pool will be built where the old building stood.
The new YMCA Family Center is now slated to open in late February. To help garner exposure and to partner with area businesses, the YMCA will be hosting the Taste of Pinecrest event on April 7th. They expect to have nearly 10,000 people come out for the event.
Whether an existing member or a potential new one, this is an exciting time for area residents who now have a new world-class wellness center nearby.