‘It will be a hub’: New Halifax YMCA inches closer to opening

After almost three years of construction, the new John W. Lindsay YMCA in Halifax is gearing up for opening day this spring.

On Wednesday, the YMCA opened a community hub on Spring Garden Road to give people a chance to try out some of the equipment, learn more about the facility and sign up for a membership.

The general manager says 300 people have already joined.

“It’s really important so that people have a sense of belonging,” Jim Pomeroy said. “We want to make sure people are out of their houses.

“It will be a hub where people can congregate, enjoy, hang out with their family, hang out with their friends, meet new people and connect with everyone else.”

From left, YMCA staff members Brittany Alminayan, Amber Grosse and Jim Pomeroy. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Cathy Murphy stopped by on Saturday afternoon to pre-register, saying she was excited for the new YMCA to be up and running.

“It’s going to be a great, well-equipped gym and, of course, we’re interested in the gym part mostly, that’s our biggest motivation,” she said.

“And the fact that it’s going to be so community-oriented as well.”

Pomeroy said the facility on the corner of South Park and Sackville Street — which is 70,000 square feet over four floors — is “more than just a gym and swim.”

He said they will have adaptive fitness classes, like chair yoga, there’s a two-lane walking track, an aquarium and a family and child community centre that can be booked for events.

The John W. Lindsay YMCA community hub is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday in Spring Garden Place. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Until they open, Pomeroy said there will be pop-up fitness classes in the community.

Membership manager Brittany Alminayan said she’s heard from many people in the area who are eager to get back their swimming pool.

But she says it’s important for them to make sure the new space is inclusive for everyone.

“The YMCA is a charity so we make sure nobody is denied a membership due to financial circumstances, that’s something we are very proud of,” she said.

“There’s going to be something for everybody.”

Pomeroy said the hope is to have between 6,500 and 10,000 members once the facility is up and running.

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