When the sun rose and the pain of last April’s EF2 tornado could be witnessed in full color, Southern Prairie YMCA on the corner of Townline and Green Valley Road looked relatively unharmed.
It looked, from the outside, like it had escaped the twister’s wrath, especially when compared to neighboring structures like Green Hills AEA building and Creston Park Apartments, which laid in shambles less than 200 yards away.
But, inside the YMCA building there was major water damage.
The twister tossed the dehumidification system for the pool and air-conditioning units off the top of the building, which left gaping holes in the roof. Severe water damage forced the YMCA to close for several months.
But today, that’s all in the past.
Southern Prairie YMCA is back and better than ever. And, in the spirit of the new year, they’re holding a grand reopening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday so the public can come tour the improved facility.
It will be a free day to the public.
“This is a celebration of us being back in business full force,” said YMCA Office Manager Joyce Baker. “It allows the community to see all the improvements we’ve made. We have a new family locker room, new gym floor, new dehumidification system, new roof. The building was completely cleaned, repainted and modernized.”
The YMCA asks, if possible, that people do come to the grand reopening dressed to play, though, as they are offering 20-minute demo fitness classes in the gym and pool.
“The demo classes give people an opportunity to try out new classes in a very relaxed setting,” said YMCA Front Desk Supervisor Raquel Linch. “It’s all about finding the right fit for you. And, Saturday allows people to check out a variety of classes all at once to see what you enjoy.”
Linch added, child care will be available throughout the event.
Meanwhile, in the pool, water fitness classes will be showcased during the grand reopening with demos running 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Lap swim will be from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday. Then, the Stingrays swim team is having a lap-a-thon event from noon to 2 p.m.
“We have about 23 kids on the Stingray team,” said Stingray coach Cody Hudson. “The kids have went out in the community and have received pledges based on the number of laps they can swim Saturday. The money raised will go toward program costs and equipment they need, and will also help pay for them to go to regionals in Minnesota in March.”
As well, open swim is slated from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
For a complete list of all the demo classes Saturday and other information related to the grand re-opening, see the flyer on page 1A.