JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After more than a year of planning, the Winston YMCA is set to replace the Yates Family YMCA on Friday and become the flagship branch of the organization in Riverside.
Jennifer Price, the wellness director and the Winston YMCA, joined a group of trainers Tuesday at the 72,000-square-foot riverfront facility as they geared up for the big opening on Friday.
“We are so excited. We've been waiting years and years for this to open. I've been with the Y a long time, so it's been a long time coming,” Price said.
How long? Well the Yates Family YMCA has been in Riverside for more than six decades. On Friday, the Yates will pass its torch to the new Winston Family YMCA.
The flagship branch will focus on improving the health and wellness of the community.
“What would be fun now is continuing that journey and trying to figure out the best way to deliver that wellness experience for all of the community,” said Nick Tant, with Florida Blue.
The entire facility is geared with state-of-the-art equipment, like the Queenax machine that features rope pulling, rowing and various upper body and core training moves.
“All exciting new toys for me to play with, and for you guys to play with,” Price said. “They have all new toys to train their clients on, all new group exercise classes, bigger rooms.”
The new YMCA also has two indoor lap pools, set to two different temperatures, and indoor track to beat the heat while getting in cardio and a spiritual wellness space for meditation if you want some peace and quiet.
And the entire gym has a beautiful view of the St Johns River.
One of the key features of the facility is the Healthy Living Center, which offers a free one-stop shop for the community to get additional health and wellness information from doctors and experts from Brooks Rehab, Baptist Health and Florida Blue.
Timothy Burrows with the YMCA said he wants to turn this Y from a downtown Y to a destination Y.
“We want people from all over Jacksonville to be able to drive down and check it out and get connected,” Burrows said. “We have something for everyone.”
The existing Yates Family YMCA will remain open until the Winston grand opening. Once the new facility is complete, the Yates building will be demolished and replaced with parking for members.