Members, special guests get first look at new $37M YMCA facility in Halifax

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WATCH: Members and special guests get a first look at the new $37 million Halifax YMCA – Sep 17, 2020

Many are heralding the brand new 70-thousand square foot John W. Lindsay YMCA facility in Halifax as the best gym in the Maritimes despite COVID-19 delaying the official opening.

The $37-million facility which features three pools, a state-of-the-art gym, and other amenities including two levels of strength and cardio equipment, is nearly complete.

Read more: New YMCA facility in Halifax gets $10 million in government funding

On Thursday the YMCA opened it’s doors for a first-hand look for some special guests and members to pick up their membership cards.

YMCA Capital Campaign Chair John W. Lindsay Jr. was the recipient of the first membership printed.

“I have always believed that Halifax needs a great community centre for people to come together, to not only develop themselves through their own fitness and through their own activities but through being with each other and creating community in these facilities,” said Lindsay. “Although people look to the architecture, the soul of the facility is the people that use [it].”
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A statue unveiling was held in front of the facility’s South Park Street entrance.

Read more: Yarmouth, N.S., YMCA shutting down after 162 years of operation: ‘A very sad day’

Jim Spatz, chairman of Southwest Properties who developed the building and condominiums above it says the YMCA building serves as a welcoming point to the downtown from people traveling south from the north end of the peninsula.

“Our designers created a building that is very beautiful and also pays homage to an important building that sat here before our building,” said Spatz. “The interior even harkens back to what might have been built many decades ago and so it’s a thoughtful building.”

COVID-19 played a part in delaying the completion of the construction project that was supposed open earlier this year.

“Getting materials, especially manufactured materials in the face of a disrupted supply chain, especially during COVID, slowed us down,” said Spatz.

There is still construction work going on but the Great Hall which divides the huge space is now open to the public. It’s a space the community can use, says YMCA of Halifax/Dartmouth President and CEO Brian Posavad.

Read more: Fitness studios prepare to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions ease

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“The Great Hall we’re in right now, it’s wide open. It’s not a place we would term as an “in-scan” or need a membership card to be here,” said Posavad. “We hope all the kids from Citadel (High School) would want to come in and eat lunch in our centre of reflection and utilize the power chargers.

“We want it to be as open and permeable to everyone.”

The new Halifax/Dartmouth YMCA will officially open Oct. 19.

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