Friday, January 14, 2000

Butler's new Y, hospital team up




BY CINDI ANDREWS
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD TWP. — Eastern Butler County is getting its own YMCA — the fifth for the county — and one that will include some hospital services.

        The 40,000-square-foot YMCA — to be built next to Fairfield East Elementary at Princeton and Morris roads — will have two pools, a multipurpose gym, a teen center and outdoor ball fields.

        It also will devote about 5,000 square feet to Fort Hamilton Hospital programs such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, sports medicine and immunizations.

        There may be no other hospital in the Tristate that offers this level of care at a YMCA, said James Kingsbury, senior vice president at Fort Hamilton.

        “Some hospitals have taken the approach of building a free-standing health and wellness center, and we thought it made more sense for us to partner with the YMCAs,” Mr. Kingsbury said.

        Besides the economic benefits of sharing space, he said, the partnership will enable the hospital to ease patients into a regular fitness routine at the YMCA as they recover.

        The $5.6 million new YMCA could break ground by late spring and open in 2001, said James Williams, president of the Butler County YMCAs.

        The prospect of a new YMCA is good news for Fairfield and Liberty townships, said Fairfield Trustee Joe McAbee. His township didn't have a single ball field four years ago, although the new township park also will include one.

        “I think the whole ... community is very athletic and sports-minded, and with our growing population we need the other services (offered by the YMCA), too,” Mr. McAbee said.

        “We've got the Y sitting right in the middle of the township,” he said. “It doesn't get any better than that.”

        Fort Hamilton also will offer programs at the other Butler County YMCAs but won't have dedicated space at those facilities, Mr. Kingsbury said.

       



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