The ground has been broken and construction is underway on a new building for the Huntington YMCA that will nearly triple the size of its existing facility, allowing it to expand the programs it offers to the community.
The YMCA of Long Island and Huntington Town officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Oct. 25 to celebrate the start of construction of a 29,000-square-foot Health Living Center. The new facility will allow Huntington YMCA to expand its fitness and preventative health programs that focus on chronic disease prevention and recovery.
“Our Health Living Center is a tremendous step forward, allowing us the capacity to achieve this goal and provide our community with the programs it needs,” said Anne Brigis, president and CEO of the YMCA of Long Island in a statement. “We have listened intently to the needs of the Huntington community, and we’re excited to begin building our Health Living Center into a gathering place for individuals to grow, learn and lead healthy lives.”
The new state-of-the-art center will include a 7,500-square-foot gym with a suspended running track above it, cycling studios, several multi-purpose adult fitness rooms and a new child care center. There will also be room set aside for the YMCA to expand its programs that focus on chronic disease prevention and recovery, including Moving for Better Balance (a fall prevention program), a diabetes prevention program and senior wellness walks.
“The Y is more than a swimming pool or an athletic field,” said New York State Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport). “At its heart, the Huntington YMCA is a community center where people can engage with physical and mental health and get the care they need. The Healthy Living and education programs all work to help these local communities and provide very necessary programs to people from all walks of life.”
The Health Living Center is being built in accordance with New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) new health initiative, which calls for a stronger emphasis on preventive health measures and education.
The nearly $9 million price-tag of the new building is being paid for through a combination of public-private partnership, according to Beverly Lacy, vice president of philanthropy for YMCA LI. The organization has received both a $400,000 and $500,0000 Empire State Development award from the state office which aims to support local business development and job creation through efficient use of financial assistance, and several generous private individual donations.
The Town of Huntington received a municipality grant to improve the parking lots shared by the town’s facilities, the senior center, Huntington YMCA and the Cinema Arts Center.
Construction of the new facility is anticipated to to be complete in 12 to 18 months, according to a YMCA spokesperson.
Once construction is complete, Lacy said that the Huntington YMCA will be able to move its programs currently held in the town’s John J. Flanagan Center, where it rents space, into the new facility.
“We have had a great relationship and it’s good to work with the town, but the facility is a little tired,” Lacey said. It’s hard to keep the heating and cooling where it needs to be. It’s hard to use the space for our purposes, as for health and wellness classes you want to be able to control the temperature.”
Town spokesman A.J. Carter said there are no future plans for Flanagan center’s use.