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Cor Van Raay YMCA at ATB Centre in Lethbridge opens its doors to the public

Cor Van Raay YMCA in Lethbridge opens its doors to the public. .
Cor Van Raay YMCA in Lethbridge opens its doors to the public. . Chris Chacon/Global News

After years of planning and a lot of construction, the Cor Van Raay YMCA has finally opened its doors to the public.

“What an outstanding day this is for us; this has been a four-year journey for the YMCA in partnership with the city,” said Jennifer Petracek-Kolb, YMCA CEO.

“I don’t have words to put to it, because it’s just been busy, lots of adrenaline — things are going better we had anticipated.”

READ MORE: Cor Van Raay YMCA at the ATB Centre announces opening date

The first 500 people took part in a free barbecue while many enjoyed tours of the new facility. In its first day of operations, there were long lineups for drops-ins and new memberships.

The Lethbridge YMCA is the third-largest in North America at 256,000 square feet, and is owned by the city but operated by the YMCA.

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READ MORE: Lethbridge YMCA receives its largest donation in its history

“It’s an exciting day for the city of Lethbridge. The public can come and see the YMCA at the ATB Centre,” said Lethbridge mayor Chris Spearman.

“Everybody’s happy, the kids are loving it [and] we now have a world-class facility right here in the city of Lethbridge.”

The new location boasts a large fitness centre, indoor track and aquatic centre featuring two slides, a lazy river and a surf simulator.

WATCH: Lethbridge YMCA announces program reductions, pool closure as move approaches (Jan. 31)

Lethbridge YMCA announces program reductions, pool closure as move approaches
Lethbridge YMCA announces program reductions, pool closure as move approaches