Construction begins on new Riverside YMCA

New YMCA will be $21 million, 3-story facility

Author: Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 04 2013 09:34:38 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 04 2013 11:24:02 AM EST
Riverside YMCA
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Construction workers will officially break ground Wednesday on the new YMCA in Riverside, which will be called Winston Family YMCA.

Some local families say the YMCA is not only beneficial to their kids, but their entire family.

"Last year my son got diagnosed with Asperger (syndrome) and ADD inattentive, and also obesity," said Carmen Zayas. "Signing up for the YMCA as a family membership to where all of us get to come here and exercise as a family was the best decision I ever made. He lost the pounds he needed to lose. It was super easy. We cut back on sugar and he got active. He brings his little tablet and jumps on the elliptical, treadmill or bicycle. But he's walking, he's active."

The new facility is being constructed behind the current Yates Family YMCA. Once construction is complete, Yates will be torn down and replaced with a parking lot.

The new YMCA will be a $21 million, three-story facility.

"It's so important for kids to grow up with the mentality that exercise is part of life," Zayas said. "You don't do it because you need to lose weight, it's just part of life. It's something fun to do, to stay healthy, and in the long run you avoid getting sick, like diabetes and other horrible things."

Zayas' husband was diagnosed with diabetes.

"I'm so grateful to see them really liking it and growing up feeling it's something natural to do," Zayas said. "It's just part of the routine, it's what we do, we exercise."

The groundbreaking celebration will begin Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. on the back riverfront lawn of the Yates Family YMCA.