The myth of the Phoenix has nothing on the Nir Family YMCA.
After a devastating fire in 2015, through the hard work, love and support of many, including a substantial donation from Dr. Oaz Nir along with donations from other local families, businesses and individuals, the Y prepares to open its doors to unveil a renovated center that has truly risen from the ashes.
The YMCA team has not only maintained programming at the location while undergoing renovation, but they’ve also grown the after-school, summer camp, soccer, and flag football programs.
A Productive Journey
The path towards an updated Nir Family YMCA has been a labor of love and will soon be a spectacular triumph for all those in Wilmington to experience.
“We’ve gone through such a journey as an organization and as a community since the fire,” said Aileen Sutton, Healthy Living Director for the YMCA. “We opened the Express Y as our temporary health and wellness facility, added a second branch, the Midtown YMCA, renovated one of our indoor pools, and we’ve partnered with the City of Wilmington to operate the city’s three outdoor swimming pools in the summer.”
Focus on Wellness
With the hope to open before the end of the year, members will soon be able to tour the new digs and jump aboard new equipment inside larger spaces; the anticipation is in the air.
“We are really excited about a dedicated wellness area on the second floor,” said Sutton. “We’ll have all new cardio equipment, three group exercise areas, and a fleet of rowers.”
New rowing studio classes will begin in February with a certified rowing instructor and eight rowers. This new fleet of rowers supports a well-established Wilmington rowing community, including the Cape Fear Rowing Club. The sport that was one of the earliest introduced in the Olympic games is a full body exercise that uses and tones every muscle group while also increasing stamina and improving cardiovascular function.
Sutton is eager to open the 1200 square feet of studio space since they have been “busting at the seams” with their Zumba classes. The new area will easily hold 50 people for Zumba’s Latin-inspired dance workout and 40 for those seeking to balance body and mind in yoga classes. Each of the larger studios will now be able to accommodate more members in the 100+ group exercise classes offered each week.
For members who are seeking a more intimate training session that is more accessible than personal training and includes heart monitoring, the Y Zone is the perfect option. Poised to hold six to twelve people, the small group training classes will split into intervals of both cardiovascular and strength training.
To ensure accessibility for all members, the Nir Family YMCA’s Physabiltiy Program offers an expanded collection of SCIFIT cardio machines. The new facility will also introduce an adaptive rowing program to meet the needs of all participants.
“The YMCA is so much more than a gym,” says Sutton. “I’m proud that we are passionate about our cause to strengthen communities and that we’re truly a place for everyone.”
Aquatics for all
Since there aren’t a slew of indoor pools in the Wilmington community, the Nir Family YMCA sought to meet the needs of as many people as possible with their new indoor family pool. With a zero entry and splash pad for families, and space for lessons and water aerobics, members of all ages will enjoy the pool’s benefits.
For those looking to shoot hoops, or play pickleball or badminton, the gym will house open gym times, Halo Hoops, and pick-up games. The new facility will also include two new racquetball courts which can be used for squash and handball as well.
The Nir Family YMCA will include new areas and facilities such as a teaching kitchen, community room, and a wing designated for youth programming.
“We are so excited to be back under one roof at the Nir Family YMCA and to get back to being a hub for all types of community events,” Sutton says.
For more information on the Nir Family YMCA, renovation updates and grand opening events visit www.ymcasenc.org/nir.
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