The Edmond Sun

Local News

December 11, 2013

Touchmark residents give ‘thumbs up’ to new YMCA

EDMOND — Senior citizens from Touchmark bundled up, braved the cold and the icy roads this week and traveled to the Edmond YMCA Recreation & Aquatic Center at Mitch Park on Covell.  

The tour group was one of more than 100 that have been guided through the new facility to show what will be available when it is finished. This $22.5 million facility is a joint project with the the Edmond School District, the City of Edmond and the YMCA.

Joining the group and donning hard hats were Touchmark residents Ellie Lottinville, Judith Harris, Jimmie Cook, John Wayant and Richard Newville along with Carla Scull, Touchmark’s director of life enrichment, and Jesse Walls, driver.

Although the 103,000-square-foot facility is still under construction, Mike Roark, Edmond YMCA director, said plans are for a February opening with the Oklahoma state championship swim meet being hosted there later that month.

“I am excited that what we have wanted and waited for a long time in coming is almost here,” Roark told the seniors wearing hard hats.

As he pointed out the natural light and large spaces he told the seniors that there will be Internet access throughout the building and it will be furnished with “smart” furniture with USB ports.

“We have 12,000 ‘Y’ members in Edmond,” Roark said, “and with this facility we will have room for many more.”

The North Y will offer traditional YMCA programs for all ages, as well as:

• 1/8 scale indoor suspended track for running and walking, large group exercise studio for classes such as; Body Pump, Zumba, boot camp classes, medium group exercise studio for specialty classes, such as; cycling; yoga and pilates X-Arcade, which will contain interactive fitness equipment for kids of all ages;

• Full-sized gymnasium for sports such as basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and indoor soccer;

• Birthday party rooms;

• Supervised child watch play area;

• Dedicated locker rooms for youth, adults and families;

• Competitive natatorium with an Olympic-size pool will serve the aquatic needs for the Edmond Public Schools with seating for 1,200 spectators;

• Leisure pool with dedicated lap swimming and swim lesson space. Play dish with spray features, toys and slide for children. Swim area with vortex for resistance training or play;

• Stand alone 130-foot water slide winding outside the building and back in with a splash down;

• A 9,000-square-foot wellness center that overlooks the competitive natatorium. It will have cardio and strength equipment;

• Lots of social space and seating for members to hang out and enjoy time together with friends.

“They already think it is their own personal Y,” said Carla Scull, director of life enrichment at Touchmark, laughing as the members of the group asked questions. They were interested in everything from, “How deep will the water aerobics pool be?” to “Will there be doors on the showers and bathrooms?”

Ellie Lottinville said she had been a member at Pacer but joined the Y in the summer.

“I think this would be a good place to have my 77th birthday party that is coming up quickly,” Lottinville said when she saw one of the two birthday rooms.

Judith Harris was interested in the water aerobics.

Scull said the Y has a lot to offer on different levels for the Touchmark residents.

“On one level staying active helps the mental and physical health of our residents and it also helps in reducing falls,” Scull added. “Interacting on a social level also helps our seniors stay active through exercising together and visiting in a different location with new surroundings and people.”

Scull also said a lot of insurance covers membership costs and at Touchmark they make up the difference for their residents who want to join.

Richard Newville, although not currently a member, said he was interested in the pool and has been interested in organized activities even before he visited the Y.

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