A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Expansion of R.C. Durr YMCA begins; $2.7m project will include St. Elizabeth Healthy Living Center

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Elected officials, community leaders and members of the R.C. Durr YMCA board of directors and staff were on hand last week for the groundbreaking on a $2.7 million expansion at the Burlington facility.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare president and CEO Garren Colvin talks about the importance of integrating healthcare into community facilities such as the R.C. Durr YMCA (photos by Mark Hansel).

St. Elizabeth Healthcare president and CEO Garren Colvin talks about the importance of integrating healthcare into community facilities such as the R.C. Durr YMCA (photos by Mark Hansel).

Jacob Brooks, executive director of the R.C. Durr YMCA, said the expansion is the first of a two-phase project. The first phase will add approximately 10,000 square feet to the existing building.

At the core of the expansion is the St. Elizabeth Healthy Living Center, made possible by a $1 million gift from St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

“The idea is that we’ll renovate our existing fitness center and add about 3,000 square feet,” Brooks said. “What’s really exciting about the Healthy Living Center and that concept is all of the health and wellness programs that St. Elizabeth and the YMCA will collaborate on. We plan to maximize each other’s expertise to provide some really unique and innovative programs for our members and our community.”

In addition to the expansion of the fitness center and the St. Elizabeth Healthy Living Center, Phase I will include:

* A 1,500 square-foot expansion of the group exercise room

* The addition of 800 square feet of space to accommodate new specialty exercise programs

* An additional 3,250 square feet for licensed childcare programs and early teen programs.

Myrita Craig, interim CEO of YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, said the organization shares with St. Elizabeth a rich history of service to Northern Kentucky.

Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore (right) and Dr. Herb Booth, a,longtime supporter of the R.C. Durr YMCA show off a photo of the original groundbreaking at the facility in 2002, at which both were present.

Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore (right) and Dr. Herb Booth, a longtime supporter of the R.C. Durr YMCA show off a photo of the original groundbreaking at the facility in 2002, at which both were present.

“We have 14 branches across our footprint touching the lives of over 150,000 individuals each year, but the R.C. Durr YMCA right here in Boone County is a shining example of impact for our organization,” Craig said. “We believe this transformational healthy living partnership with St. Elizabeth will elevate the health and wellness of our community for generations to come.”

The Boone County Senior Center is also located at the R.C. Durr YMCA and Brooks said activities and programs for its members will be included in the expansion.

“The great thing about the YMCA and St. Elizabeth is that we both serve such a diverse demographic,” Brooks said. “You’ll see some really unique programs that are dedicated to families and seniors and we certainly want to tie St. Elizabeth in to our senior center activities.”

Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare president and CEO, said it is the organization’s mission is to be the healthiest community in America. He said the Healthy Living Center will help attack two of the top four challenges in the region, cardiovascular disease and chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

“The St. Elizabeth Healthy Living Center will bring together medical and fitness professionals to help individuals achieve the best possible health care and overall quality of life,” Colvin said. “The approach emphasizes a focus on prevention and lifestyle changes, an essential part of health care in the future.”

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The R.C. Durr expansion project was made possible through contributions from the community and many attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

A successful capital campaign produced the funding for Phase I of the project and the campaign for the Phase II expansion is about to begin.

Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore shared a photo of the group that broke ground on the original R.C. Durr YMCA in November 2002. The facility sits on Boone County Parks property that is leased to the YMCA.

“Partnerships, we’ve heard that word many times and we continue to hear it,” said Moore. “That’s really what made the original project happen and that’s why we are standing here today, talking about expanding and growing to serve even more residents here in our community.”

Phase II will expand the existing building to the west and will include an additional basketball gym with an elevated walking track and three early learning child care centers.

Florence-based Mark Spaulding Construction will develop Phase I of the project, which is scheduled for completion in early summer 2017.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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