As thousands of Columbia County Family Y members try to reduce their midsections, their favored gym just keeps getting bigger.
Family Y executives an-nounced last week that they have outgrown the facility on Washington Road in Evans and intend to open this year in a larger location.
July 1 is the target opening date for a 19,000-square-foot Family Y in the Evans Town Center, a 1-year-old shopping center on North Belair Road in Evans.
"It solves some challenges we've been facing," Family Y President and Chief Executive Officer Danny McConnell said of the new facility. "There are four different ways to get on and off (that) property, so access is much more convenient. It also solves parking issues that have been a challenge at our current location."
Family Y first opened a Columbia County facility in January 2003 in the Eagle Pointe Center on Washington Road. It reopened in a larger facility in nearby Lenox Plaza shopping center in November 2006.
The move to Evans Town Center increases the Family Y's size by about 7,000 square feet.
"That allows us to expand many of the offerings that are already there," McConnell said. "We just need more space to continue to serve people."
Renovations are under way at the Evans Town Center facility to include an 8,000-square-foot fitness center, a plate-loaded weight room, 20 more pieces of cardio equipment, an expanded spinning room and larger childcare areas.
About 5,800 of the Family Y's nearly 42,000 members live in Columbia County. McConnell expects that figure to grow considerably and is planning ways to meet that need.
This year, McConnell said he intends to announce a location for a 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot facility on 20 acres of property for a "flagship" Family Y in Columbia County.
In this decade, McConnell said, Family Y branches in Columbia County might number three -- in Evans, Grovetown and Martinez.
"In order to serve that county, as big as it is, we need three different service areas," he said.
For information, call (706) 364-3269 or visit www.thefamilyy.org.
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