The Clifton Springs Area YMCA has seen a dip in membership over the years, but the facility is looking to grow, and in the process, generate enthusiasm. The man spearheading this ambitious swap/expansion project is YMCA director Todd Freelove, who hopes to create a larger space for health and wellness, and instill core values into the community.
The project team hopes to move the space-challenged YMCA gym across the street to the larger YMCA Palace Learning Center (child care), and build an extension onto that. The child care would then trade places with the current YMCA building.
For Freelove, the added area is essential. He recalled days past when the YMCA gymnasium was a haven for students after school to focus on mind, body and spirit… and ultimately grow into young adults. The greater capacity across the street will no doubt allow the community, young and grown, to utilize a bigger area dedicated to the YMCA’s core values.
“This project is so important to come to fruition because of what the YMCA does, and yeah it’s just a building, but it’s really a vehicle that allows us to develop (youth) character. Our values are something today that are so important, they don’t necessarily mean as much as they used to. At the Y, that’s something we’re really going to stress: caring, responsibility, honesty, respect.”
As with any large community project, it comes down to money. Clifton Springs mayor Bill Hunter said the funds raised so far are a start, and further donations will be a contribution to the community as a whole. The YMCA swap/expansion project will be, “a great return on your investment, and that’s what we’ll get as a result of this project.”
The Clifton YMCA will be hosting an open house on November 17, and a dinner dance on March 1 to help raise money for the project. Todd and his team hope to start this transition in February of next year.