How to go
Looking for an opportunity to check out the newly renovated space?
What: Countryside YMCA and Premier Health Atrium Medical Center Healthy Family Day & Health Fair.
Where: Countryside YMCA, 1699 Deerfield Road, Lebanon
When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18
Cost: Free and open to the public
Highlights: Grammy nominated children’s musician Zak Morgan will perform at 10:30 a.m.; see Gapper from the Cincinnati Reds, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; free classes, vendor booths, health assessments and more
An expanded cardio strength center, a motion zone for youth and new fitness studios are just a few features members of the Countryside YMCA are enjoying now that a two-year renovation and expansion project is complete.
More than 40 percent of the facilities received upgrades, offering approximately 230,000-square-feet of fitness space for members of all ages.
“We knew that our community and members had desires and needs that Countryside YMCA could address, so we re-purposed our facility to meet those needs,” said CEO Mike Carroll. “For almost 40 years we have served Warren County, striving to provide a facility that fosters healthy community. We believe we’re doing just that, and we are excited to celebrate our improvements in a YMCA that better meets member needs and the needs of our community.”
The $7.6 million project included a new main entrance, expanded free weight area, dedicated cycle spin studio and yoga and Pilates studio, new youth, gymnastics, arts and education centers, an updated center for those 50 and older, a new child watch area, additional parking and community gathering space and cafe.
“There are so many highlights from the renovation, but some of the ‘wow’ items are: we doubled the size of our free weight area; we added the Motion Zone with Exergaming equipment to keep our youth active; Royce Cafe opened their Royce Countryside location; we opened a Community Area to meet the needs of large and small groups,” Carroll said.
The innovative Motion Zone’s Exergaming equipment uses active-play video games to combine entertainment with fitness. The Y now boasts five fitness studios and expanded class offerings.
Convenience was the driving factor for some upgrades. The new entrance is located steps from the most used areas of the facility, more than 140 parking spaces were added and safety walkways were installed.
“Accessibility was greatly improved for both members and non-members. With additional parking it’s easier to find a space, and our new entrance has direct access to the cardio strength center, Child Watch and fitness studios. It’s much easier for members to come in and get where they need to be,” Carroll explained. “We expanded the number of fitness studios we have, so that we can run more classes and more specialty classes. Our new arts and education center has great space for our creative arts classes. Our beautiful new glass atrium area provides a great gathering space.”
In fact, the community space offers seating for up to 500 and includes movable walls to provide flexibility.
The fitness facility opened in 1978, and Lebanon resident Peg Allen has been a member for much of its existence.
“I joined the Countryside YMCA in the early 1980s, and I have seen it grow and change over the years. I remember when the Nautilus room was brand new. There were probably 20 machines in a tiny room,” she recalled. “Now, the newly-expanded cardio-strength area has every machine and weight imaginable to keep me in shape and in a beautiful space that has plenty of room and natural light. We are truly blessed in Lebanon to have the largest YMCA in perhaps the world that inspires us to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Carroll said the facility offers more to the community than a traditional gym.
“Countryside YMCA is unique, because the breath and quality of offerings is unparalleled when you compare this Y to other gyms,” he said. “Our outdoor nature trail, our extensive creative arts area, our variety of summer camps — all of these things combined make the Y so much more than a gym. And our mission, to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all, also sets us apart.”
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.