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YMCA marches toward opening

The long-awaited Caroline YMCA finally has an opening date.

A grand opening for the new facility is planned for 1:30 p.m. March 14, with Sen. Mark Warner as the guest speaker.

That day, anyone who has purchased a membership prior to the opening—charter members—will be able to use the facility, said Jan Henicheck, community relations specialist for the organization.

It will be open to the rest of the public the next day.

Facility hours will be 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

So far, there are about 500 membership units, or about 1,500 individual members, Henicheck said.

The 41,000-square-foot facility will have two pools: one, for competition, that is 25 yards wide by 25 meters long, and one for therapy.

It’s the first Y that will have a zero-depth-entry wheelchair-accessible therapeutic pool at the time it opens.

The fitness area—about 6,000 square feet—will have a large selection of cardiovascular machines, weight- and circuit-training equipment and free weights.

The administrative team plans to move into the new facility Friday.

Before it can open to the public, the facility has to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the county. Some paving needs to be done near the facility’s entrance.

The financing of the new YMCA has caused some tension among the Caroline Board of Supervisors.

The project came under scrutiny because county officials originally said the YMCA wouldn’t be funded with taxpayer dollars—but the board had to use about $60,000 in general-fund money last July 23 to make a payment on the project’s $5 million loan when a capital campaign came up short.

When the next payment, which was due Feb. 1, came up for discussion in late January, it again caused tension among the supervisors, and the county had to kick in about $96,000 from the general fund.

Ten payments of $103,100 each are due every six months to cover the interest on that loan. The Feb. 1 payment was the fifth one.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413


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