Community ‘can’t wait until new YMCA opens’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

“I can’t wait until the new YMCA is built,” is an every day comment that I hear. Well, fortunately, those interested parties aren’t going to have to wait much longer. As a matter of fact, it is now only a countdown of days before the doors of the facility open to the communities of Selma and surrounding areas.

This week, water began flowing into two – not one – but two swimming pools that will be housed inside the new facility. Fresh coats of paint are being applied and tile is beginning to fall into place. The backboards in the gymnasium are installed and the flooring is on its way.

The new Y will be more than just another place to workout and sweat a few pounds off. It will be a place for families to spend time together, outside the comforts of their homes flipping through channels on their television sets. It will be a place where young people can be entertained without the peer pressure that is common place now.

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It will open more opportunities for business people to have meetings and seniors to go just to find peace. It will, however, be another place for those exercise fanatics and wannabes to call home. The new facility will contain some of the most up-to-date, high tech equipment designed to help people gain muscle or even fine tune what they already have. For those who are interested in shedding a few pounds, there will be programs abundant and counselors trained in providing instruction and perhaps more importantly support through that process.

For the kids, well, there is so much. The new Y will continue its already busy schedule of gymnastics, basketball and swimming lessons. With the new Y will come new programs and a re-energized focus on providing a Christian atmosphere for the young people who will one day be future leaders of our community, state and possibly even nation.

There continue to be complaints about the quality of life in Selma. Even after the new facility is operational, I am sure there will be some who still will not be satisfied, but the fact is that this $6 million YMCA will improve our quality of life. It will improve Selma.

The Y has a number of missions, from serving kids to providing opportunities for fitness. In Selma, maybe its most important mission will be to help bring our community together, to close the gap from our political, economic and racial strife.

The YMCAs have historically been a haven for all people, not just some. It doesn’t carry or believe in stereotyping, only teaching values and bringing people together and families closer. “I can’t wait until the new Y opens!”

Stay tuned to The Times-Journal for more news regarding the progress of the upcoming grand opening.

Jesse Lindsey is publisher of The Times-Journal.