New Downtown YMCA to Open Soon in Cleveland's Galleria Mall

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A longtime Cleveland organization is about to open the doors at its new location in downtown Cleveland.   The YMCA is leaving its Prospect Avenue site after more than 100 years and moving to the retail mall known as The Galleria.

Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports the Y’s goal is to make people healthy – and maybe achieve world peace.  

 

Plenty of fitness centers have coaches who may want to yell at you.   At the Greater Cleveland YMCA they want to bring people together from different backgrounds.  CEO Glenn Haley says that’s part of their mission.

“Connecting the business community and those who commute downtown to neighborhood folks who live downtown.“

Haley says the Y’s goals are to reduce diabetes and obesity in the city but also to provide mentoring and schoolwork help for inner city kids.

It’s all part of a bigger mission to bridge the divide between city and suburban members.

“I think this unique venue can bridge that so that these communities and these different constituencies come together in a common place where they can meet, engage, understand, communicate, work out and get to know one another.  To me, that’s the bigger picture here.”

The new location on East 9th makes business sense. With all the Millennials moving into downtown, the owner of the struggling Galleria, Werner Minshall, offered free rent for the 40,000 foot center.  Workers are racing to meet its March 28 opening.  

Executive Director Laura Floyd says interest piqued when passersby could see past the construction wall.   

“The minute the wall came down it was unbelievable.  The phone calls started; people were signing up for a membership.”  

Although the game of basketball was invented in a YMCA,  the downtown site won’t have basketball or racquetball courts.  But it does have a swimming pool, yoga rooms, spinning rooms,  all the latest fitness equipment, and a Metrohealth clinic.     

Officials expect the cost for the total build out could reach $11 million dollars. 

The century old Prospect Avenue building is being turned into housing for Cleveland State students.

 

Mark.Urycki@ideastream.org

 

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