The YMCA in Ardmore has grown substantially since opening in 1945 out of a house on A Street, said the new CEO of YMCA in Ardmore Jana Weichbrodt.
She hopes that trend will continue now that she has officially been chosen as new CEO, beyond the interim position she has held since June 2016. In her 30 years with the Y, she has served as program director and coordinated fitness, sports, day camp and several other YMCA activities and events.
Weichbrodt was promoted just a month before the anticipated grand reopening of the YMCA at 920 15th Ave. NW. Targeting a mid-November opening, the fully-renovated facility will add about 13,000 square feet, a second swimming pool and several other features for members to enjoy.
The additional space was a long time coming, Weichbrodt said, and was spearheaded by Tom Riley, the former programs director for YMCA who Weichbrodt regards as a great mentor.
“The only thing that looks the same, basically, will be the two gyms,” she said. “We’ve been talking about this since 2013. Initially, we were going to just add a few feet onto the north part, but then we decided if we’re going to do this, the whole facility needed updating.”
The renovated facility will place an emphasis on more family-friendly activities, including pickleball, parties and lock-ins. The Y, moreover, will be geared to be multifaceted: Weichbrodt wants to see working folks come in on breaks for pickup basketball like the old days, too.
It’s fortunate to her the facility is staying put on 15th Avenue NW. That will enable renewed collaboration with Mercy Hospital, which has been put on hold since the Y has been temporarily operating on West Broadway Street.
The YMCA would hold health fairs and also aided with a pre-diabetes program of Mercy Hospital. Weichbrodt looks to expand on these past efforts to create more programs like them.
The number of memberships have been sliced in half since the YMCA temporarily moved last year.
What has kept the Y afloat as renovations continue, Weichbrodt said, is the loyalty of a select few who have tolerated the limited operation as an array of new amenities are put in place and the dedication of her fitness instructors who keep them coming for their classes.
Between the new-look YMCA in Ardmore and everything else on the horizon, Weichbrodt senses a renaissance of the Ardmore she grew up in.
“Ardmore’s going to be what it used to be years and years ago: an all-American city,” Weichbrodt said. “With all these wonderful venues that we’ll have, I think we’ll really help the community.”