YMCA planning upgrades

ELKINS – The Elkins-Randolph County YMCA, in addition to planning pool renovations, is hoping to build a green space to provide swimmers an open air experience during the warm summer months.

The plan for the green space is to include a sliding barn-style door that will open to allow fresh air into the pool area. Swimmers will also be able to leave the pool, cross the alley that will be gated off behind the building, and enter into the green space area which will feature picnic tables and garden areas.

“The green space would give people a place to eat lunch or read a book and it also beautifies the view from the pool area,” said Sid Gillispie, executive director for the YMCA. “The barn door would slide open and a glass, non-access, door would let in light and air.”

Pool renovations are scheduled to begin this summer and will include replacing the steel frame inside the building, re-lining the pool with a PVC membrane and PVC gutters, replacing the pool deck and adding more windows to allow more natural light.

Gillispie said construction on the steel frame will begin later this summer and the deck, gutters and lining will be worked on during the fall and winter in hopes that the pool can re-open next year.

“The YMCA has been around for 111 years and this is our second pool. Our original pool was in 1906 and our second pool was in the mid- 1950s. With this rehab, it will last for the next generation,” Gillispie said.

“It is important because it gives a place for swim lessons for all ages, it gives seniors a place for aquatic exercise, local fire and rescue services can do training and it gives youth a nice place to swim and enjoy themselves.”

The YMCA currently has $400,000 pledged to the pool renovation fund, including a $50,000 donation from the Randolph County Commission. Included in the donation from the Commission is a stipulation that Randolph County youth be allowed to swim, free of charge, at certain times at the facility.

Randolph County Commission President Chris See said the Commission has met with Gillispie three or four times in the past year to negotiate the amount of the contribution. He said officials discussed the stipulation, which would benefit children whose families may not be able to afford YMCA


“A lot of the kids don’t have an opportunity to go to the YMCA to swim. We try to help out the youth and make it so everyone in the county has a useable public pool,” See said. “It is nice to have something that they can use


Gillispie said officials are working out times and days to offer the free youth swimming to allow it to be utilized to its maximum potential.

The YMCA has numerous fundraisers for the pool fund scheduled through the summer, including the 16th annual Duke Open golf tournament on June 14, a concert, featuring five bands from around the region, on June 21, and the Drive for Fitness and El Gran Fest, both on July 12.

Those interested in contributing to the YMCA pool fund can do so by calling

304-636-4515, visiting www.elkinsymca.org or mailing a check to the Elkins-Randolph County YMCA.