New Leeward YMCA Ready For Members

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - November 22, 2006
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The new 42,000 square-foot Leeward YMCA, opening in January, will feature state-of-the-art equipment that caters to individuals and families.

“There has been some expansions to YMCAs but there hasn’t been a new YMCA built on Oahu since 1969,” said Madalene Aponte, membership director. “We’re hoping to have at least 1,000 members by January. We’ve already got 64 families signed up.”

The programs include step classes for moms, hip-hop dance classes for teens, and much more. The building has three floors, and it incorporates a part of the old sugar mill into the structure.

“The historic significance of the sugar mill as a place where families gathered is so important as we are now another place for the families to gather,” said Aponte.

Programs for school children such as A-Plus, along with activities for adults and seniors, are among the highlights of the facility.

On the bottom level of the new building, there are five family rooms where groups of 10 can change and shower, then go directly to the six-lane 25-yard heated pool that has lights for night swims. The bottom level features the Healthy Start Room, which is a gym with machines for weight and cardio training.

The main (middle) level houses the membership desk. Conference and meeting areas are available to non-profit organizations for free. For parents who want to exercise with their children ages 8 and older, some classes will be held in the 3,000-square-foot family exercise room. The family room also will be used occasionally to screen films. There’s a second 2,000-square-foot room for group exercise. This level also houses the child-watch room where keiki are entertained while their parents get fit.

“As you go up the stairs (to the third level), you can touch the sugar mill’s smokestack,” said Aponte. The top level boasts a view of Diamond Head and has the main gym, which includes 200 pieces of fitness equipment.

“Hawaii has women who are under 5 feet tall, and it has men that are very tall, so our equipment adjusts for that,” Aponte noted. “Also some of the cardio equipment has its own TV.”

Single memberships are $46 per month for the first year and $40 after that. The senior rate is $42 a month to start, and teens can get a membership for $22 a month. Family memberships are also available. Those joining before January will get a special gift and an invitation to the opening reception early next year. For more information, call 671-6495.

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