Public invited to celebrate one-year anniversary of Wilmington’s Express Y is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

YMCA members work out at a temporary 'express' location. A year after a fire nearly destroyed the Y's home on Market Street, officials say they are now focusing on rebuilding. File photo.
YMCA members work out at the temporary ‘Express Y’ location. Photo by Christina Haley.

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Family YMCA is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Express Y this Wednesday and offering the public a chance to experience the facility for free.

To celebrate the event, the Express Y and YMCA pools will be open not just to members, but the entire community, to experience the Y for free during this one-year celebration. The Express Y has housed the YMCA’s health and wellness programs since a February 2015 fire caused $3 million in damage to its main facility at 2710 Market St.

Wilmington Family YMCA CEO Dick Jones said the 15,700 square foot former retail space in the Market Plaza Shopping Center has been a blessing to keep the Y going. The Express Y opened its doors to members Aug. 31, 2015.

“We were lucky to have Mike and Brian Prevatte, owners of the shopping center and longtime supporters of the Y to help us with a great lease agreement for the property and we appreciate their support to keep our mission of serving the community going strong,” Jones said.

The Express Y, located at 11 South Kerr Ave., includes a large wellness area, a cycling and TRX room, a yoga and Pilates studio, a group exercise studio, a Y Café, family restroom, adult locker rooms, saunas and a large childcare area.

During the anniversary of the Express Y, guests are welcome to try a group exercise class, such as Zumba or Pilates, workout on the Y’s state-of-the-art exercise equipment or enjoy a swim in the Y’s pools located outside the main facility on Market Street, Jones said. Though the main building at 2710 Market St. is closed, the Y opened up its pool areas in the later part of 2015.

Related story: Nearly a year past the fire, Wilmington Family YMCA anticipates a bright new year

Membership staff also will wave the joiner fee for anyone who becomes a Y member on Wednesday. Current members will also have a chance to win prizes to celebrate the event.

The community is also invited to stop by the Express Y and take advantage of free diabetes screenings and free blood pressure and amp. The Y will also host balance screenings from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31. Flu Shots will also be offered by Rite Aid from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Those in need of a flu shot should bring their insurance card or $32 to receive their shot.

Plans are underway to rebuild the YMCA at 2710 Market St., but the Express Y will be available to serve the community until renovations are complete. Thomas construction Group and Architectural firm Bowman Murray Hemingway are working with the Y on renovation project.