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YMCA begins 150th celebration

As the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County enters its 150th anniversary, change is afoot.

“We are doing a major overhaul in some areas where we have to shut down,” said Paul Grist YMCA CEO Jerry Wang. “When you shut down all the environmental systems in this building, you can’t work out in it. We’ve got tile repair to do and cement repair to do and the list goes on and on.”

The lap and family pools came under new hours on Monday, and observe the following hours:

Both are open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. The lap pool open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday and open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The family pool is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Beginning Saturday, the facility will observe new hours through Jan. 1, 2009. It will operate from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, the facility will open an hour earlier at 8 a.m. and operate until 5 p.m.

The addition of several new programs is at the forefront as well.

One-hour fitness assessments are conducted with trained personnel to progress and identify or to recommend routine changes needed to increase metabolism and target problem areas.

“The evaluation process is crucial so that they see success,” said Wang. “Most of these folks have started a program. They may have either fallen off the wagon and need a little bit of a rejuvenation and a little bit of a cheerleader and also to be sure they understand nutritional values with good exercise and weights, etc., increases metabolic rate.”

The YMCA Black/Hispanic Achievers program is an academic achievement and career development initiative for middle school and high school youth and teens of color. Youth interested in participating can sign up on Nov. 8.

Parents in need of a few hours to run errands or a simple break from their kids have a new option through the YMCA’s Drop and Go program. Parents can drop their kids off for up to four hours. The going rate is $5 per hour for one child and $8 for two children.

Another new program brings politics into the mix through the Youth and Government program.

Youth and Government aims to increase awareness of contemporary politics as well as its challenges and solutions. The signup deadline is Oct. 30.

“It is fulfilling a mission of building a better tomorrow from the youth today,” said Wang. “We’re helping to create a better, more positive future for these kids. They actually get into Alabama state government, and they have their own governor. That’s going to be an awesome program.”

The YMCA’s 150-year celebration takes place on Nov. 22. It begins at the Selma-Dallas County YMCA at 10 a.m. and concludes at the St. James Hotel the same evening. The national YMCA president will speak and bestow a proclamation to commemorate the anniversary.