YMCA officials discuss pool work

ELKINS – Elkins-Randolph County YMCA officials presented their renovation plans for the facility’s pool, a $500,000 project, to the Elkins Rotary Club Monday.

Sid Gillispie, the executive director of the YMCA, along with Marge Moses, former president of the YMCA Board of Directors, talked about what the pool renovations will mean for the community.

The renovations will include a brand-new roof, PVC lining and a gutter system that will improve water quality, as well as revamped boys’ and girls’ locker rooms.

The pool was closed in April due to a collapsed roof caused by humidity and age, and will remain closed until the remodeling is done. The YMCA has been able to secure $200,000 in donations and pledges from individuals, community groups and board members so far but have been reaching out to the community for additional funding for the project. The project is slated to take approximately eight months to finish once adequate funds have been raised.

Moses talked about the important role that the YMCA plays locally.

“Over 3,000 kids and adults have learned to swim here at the YMCA,” Moses said. “Forty percent of seventh graders can’t swim as much as 25 yards to save their own lives, let alone potentially the lives of others.”

Moses said that the YMCA pool facility was utilized by people of all ages and skill levels. She said that it was ideal for swimming lessons, and arthritis-friendly water aerobics for seniors, and provided a family-friendly, safe environment.

Gillispie said that, when completed, the pool will be heated to 88 degrees year-round, will see approximately 50 usages daily, and will be utilized for recreational events like birthday parties and a summer program attraction, as well as training and rehabilitation.

“We are speaking to you not only as an organization but as individuals,” Moses said. “We need the help of the community to complete this project. It would be easy to say that it’s too much of a hassle to see this to the end. But we have talked to members of the community and you have informed us that they know it’s an asset and you want this because it’s important to you.”

Donations are tax-deductible and a very small number of Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) West Virginia state tax vouchers are available for individuals donating $1,000 or more. Those interested should contact Sid Gillispie at 304-636-4515.

An open house will be held today at 7 p.m. in the Rotary Room at the YMCA where an update on the project and the YMCA’s fundraising efforts will be shared with the public. Light refreshments will be provided.