JOHNSTOWN - Many members took advantage of their first opportunity to use the new Fulton County YMCA Monday, filling the basketball courts, the day care rooms and pool on the facility's first day of business.
The Johnstown and Gloversville branches of the Fulton County YMCA closed for recreation Aug. 15 in preparation for the new YMCA's opening. The East Fulton Street facility in Gloversville remains open as a low-income housing provider.
Chief Executive Officer Steven Serge said despite a few minor glitches, the YMCA's first day on Harrison Street was a success.
(The Leader-Herald/Kayleigh Karutis)
Campers with the Fulton County YMCA Summer Camp program listen as counselors read a story at the YMCA Monday. The new facility opened to the public Monday.
"We've been very pleased with the steady foot traffic," he said. "Everything is going pretty well."
Membership Director Peter Riley said by the end of the day, he expected to see at least 200 visitors enter the building.
"I saw children as young as 6 weeks up to 86-year-olds using the pool this morning," he said. "I think that pretty much sums it up."
IF YOU GO ...
What: New Fulton County YMCA
Where: 213 Harrison Street Extension, Johnstown
Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Membership costs: Youth (17 and younger), $100 annual fee; adult (18 to 61), $480 annual fee; family, $660 annual fee; senior (62 and older), $420 annual fee.
Phone number: 848-3447
Along with the facility being open to its approximately 2,000 members, tours of the facility are being provided for non-members, Serge said.
Riley said the facility is unique in that it encompasses the entire family.
"The facility is a gem the community can be proud of," he said. "What we do here is very unique. The programming involves the whole family."
Visitors were impressed with the facility, Riley said.
"People are very surprised at how nice it is," he said. "The old facility [in Johnstown] had a long life, but it was time for this."
About 20 campers with the YMCA's Summer Camp program gathered in one of the day care rooms to hear a story from a camp counselor. Next door, care givers served spaghetti to a group of toddlers.
Nathan Littauer Hospital's HealthLink services, currently in the Pyramid Mall in Johnstown, will move to the new YMCA within the next week, Serge said.
Justin Salvione of Johnstown was playing basketball with a couple friends Monday afternoon and said he was impressed at how well organized the facility is.
"It's a lot nicer, a lot bigger and a lot cleaner [than the Johnstown facility]," he said. "I'll come here three or four times a week, at least."
Kerry Hague, also of Johnstown, brought her two children, Judah, 7, and Stella, 3, to the facility, and said she anticipates using the babysitting services.
"It's just fantastic, clean and new," she said. She said she is looking forward to taking her children to classes and swimming lessons. She said she will use the babysitting service so she can exercise knowing her children are being looked after.
David Loucks of Gloversville said he is a long-time YMCA member who has been active with the organization for years. He said he was impressed with the new facility.
"I give it an A-plus," he said. "It's very pleasant."
Loucks was leaving the facility after having used the showers, the sauna and the whirlpool, he said. He said he anticipates coming back to use the swimming pool and to exercise.
The facility will conduct a grand opening ceremony Sept. 6 at 11 a.m.
Kayleigh Karutis covers rural Fulton County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.