Area YMCAs reopen to smiles and cheers from members

Coronavirus

Changes have been made to the Boardman and Youngstown facilities to follow guidelines and keep everyone safe

MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – Monday was a big day for local YMCAs, which are back in business.

The YMCAs in Youngstown and Boardman reopened Monday morning and people were ready.

“There was a line of about 20 people,” said YMCA executive director Tom Grantonic. “We were met with everything from smiles to cheers.”

Everyone had their temperature checked and as long as it was below the threshold, they were allowed in.

Locker rooms, water fountains and vending machines are not available right now.

The pool is only for lap swimming and you need an appointment to get in the water.

The fitness centers and weight rooms are open.

“They feel like the weights have gotten heavier since they left,” said YMCA chief operating officer Beth Scheller.

The Davis Family Y has 16,000 members. Some of the equipment has been moved or shut down so they can maintain social distancing.

“Some of that wasn’t easy because we don’t have room to move equipment to,” Grantonic said. “It was a matter of putting some things out of commission so you’re not working out three feet away from the person next to you.”

The Y is preaching spacing and cleaning. It wants you to do both.

For the first week, it’s limiting use to age 14 and up.

The outdoor pools won’t be ready for at least a couple more weeks.

The Y has been operating in limited capacity holding blood drives, as a storage area for Second Harvest Food Bank and for providing essential worker child care.

Now it’s back to its main focus.

“It’s not just about body. It’s about their souls and their minds as well. So the Y is always about creating a place where people can go for a healthy spirit, mind and body,” Scheller said.

The local YMCAs did not take any membership money while the facilities were closed. They’ll start up again now that they’ve reopened.

The YMCA is willing to work with members who aren’t ready to come back yet.

The downtown YMCA closed at 3 p.m. Monday in an abundance of caution due to a potential protest in the city.

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