Monday, August 27, 2001

YMCAs set to unveil facility renovations

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD — The YMCAs in Hamilton and Fairfield will make a splash Sept. 4.

        Pool and locker room facilities at both will reopen with about $1 million in total renovations. Both pools have been idle since June.

        Another $2.8 million will be used for a expansion at the Hamilton and Fairfield facilities with new fitness and teen centers, whirlpools, saunas, more locker space and parking.

        “The pools were built in 1969 and have not been renovated since,” said Lamont Jacobs, board chairman at the Fairfield YMCA.

        “They were pitted badly and leaking. We had to do something, so we decided to do it this summer when people can swim outside,” he said.

        The improvements included new filtration systems, liners, tile, paint and murals.

        Karen Altmann Staley, senior executive director of the Great Miami Valley YMCA, said a capital improvement drive has netted about $7.7 million of an $11 million goal to improve and expand the facilities at the Fairfield YMCA and Hamilton West YMCA. The money would also go to build the new East Butler County YMCA in Fairfield Township, which is under construction and should open in spring 2002.

        The organization has taken out loans of about $3.3 million to reach the goal. The $3.3 million will be recouped through additional fund drive efforts and with money received by the nonprofit organization from programs and fees. Donations are being accepted, said Kimberly Munafo, development director of Great Miami Valley YMCA.

        Dick Schmerr, an associate executive director and facilities director for the Hamilton-based group of YMCAs said $1.9 million will be invested at each of the Fairfield and Hamilton West YMCAs in both phases — pool renovations and expansion. The remaining money funds Butler West YMCA construction.

        Expansion and remodeling of the existing two facilities was needed because of age and expanding membership. The Fairfield YMCA serves about 3,400 people and Hamilton West about 3,000, Fairfield YMCA membership director Susan Key said.

        The organization also operates the Central YMCA in downtown Hamliton, outdoor programs and education facilities at Camp Campbell Gard in St. Clair Township, a childcare center and 18 satellite latchkey programs serving schools in Fairfield, Ross Township and Hamilton. Tax-deductible donations to the fund drive may be sent to: Great Miami Valley YMCA, Development Office, 105 N. Second St., Hamilton, 45011.



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