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THE PLUM STREET Y FAQ
What is happening?
The Y is purchasing 5th Avenue Fitness. Current 5th Avenue Fitness members will become Y members. We will renovate the 5th Avenue Fitness facility, and then re-open it as the Plum Street YMCA. The Downtown Y has served members and the community well and it has outlived its useful purpose. After a thorough review, it was determined that renovating the Downtown Y was not an effective use of limited financial resources.
Why is the Y making this move?
Our current Downtown facility has outlasted its useful life. It is too costly to repair or replace and our Trustees believed staying in Downtown Olympia was important. We believe this decision provides the best location and facility for the continued long-term service of the Y to this community.
When is this effective?
Notification of the change to staff is October 17. YMCA and 5th Avenue members are being notified October 18. 5th Avenue Fitness operations will cease November 18, 2017 at which time we will welcome them at Briggs or Downtown.
Will there be a pool at the new YMCA location?
Phase one of the 5th Avenue renovation includes new flooring, deep cleaning, painting and construction of multi-use space. Staff and volunteers are working with designers and architects to understand the feasibility of an aquatic addition during a future phase. In the meantime, your YMCA membership affords you the privilege and full use of our Briggs YMCA location featuring two pools for your health and recreational needs.
What is the Y doing with the former building?
The 510 Franklin building is for sale. Consistent with the City of Olympia’s long-range plan and Downtown revitalization plan, this building will be an ideal site for a developer to reimagine the space providing residents and visitors a unique urban experience.
How is the Y planning to say good-bye and offer closure to the former building?
Plans are underway for a proper send off. If you have an idea or would like to volunteer on the planning committee, please let us know.
Why is this good for Olympia?
We strongly believe remaining in downtown Olympia is a responsible decision and one that will help to keep the downtown area active and relevant for residents.
Is the Downtown Y an historic location?
While not historic from an architectural or historic registry point of view, it is certainly nostalgic to members of the Y.
Many of our long-time members remember riding their bikes to this Y and participated in sports and youth development programs as they grew up. Once 5th Avenue Fitness is renovated and reopened as a Y, it will have the same historic spirit in a new facility.
Although we will always remember the Y’s history in our current building, the Y is about the mission and the members, not the facility. Moves have been made in the past due to changes in our community. It is the same today. The Y is much more than a building: it’s about the outcomes and impact of what happens in the building to improve the lives of members and program participants.
What does this mean for Downtown and Briggs members?
Once we move the Y into the renovated Plum Street location, members will enjoy street-level access, air conditioning, and parking.
Because we are adding new members, you may see both YMCAs more crowded. We will do everything we can to minimize any negative impacts. You can use the Downtown and Briggs branches and be aware there are hours when the buildings are not as crowded.
Will there be a basketball court?
One of the reasons for the move is to provide more space for more people to participate in programs. As most basketball enthusiasts realized, the Downtown YMCA court was less than ideal and rarely used for basketball (predominately used for group exercise classes). Your YMCA membership affords you the privilege and use of our Briggs YMCA that features a double gymnasium with competitive and recreational basketball programs and activities.
Are membership rates going to go up?
Membership rates are reviewed annually and adjustments are made to reflect cost of living increases but remain affordable. Any upcoming changes to rates are not a result of the 5th Avenue Fitness acquisition or renovation.
Former Fifth Avenue Fitness members will see a change in their rates to be phased in after 12 months.
Who made the decision to acquire 5th Avenue Fitness?
The Downtown Y facilities committee conducted its annual Building Conditions Report in the spring 2017. A small group of the Board of Trustees was then formed to study the data, compare our facilities to others, review current policies, and consider all options. Their thorough and thoughtful leadership led to the recommendation to purchase 5th Avenue Fitness. The board of directors voted to support this proposal.
What other programs and services have been influenced by volunteers?
Ys are volunteer-founded and volunteer-led by residents in the community. The board wants what is best for our Y and for our members and neighbors. The volunteer board, program volunteers and volunteer committee members recommend programs, services and practices, and staff members execute and support these recommendations. In addition, members are encouraged to provide their ideas, suggestions and input.
Will there be any staff changes as a result?
Yes, some staff change will result following the move. Staffing changes are never easy and we spoke directly to those impacted.
Will the new location have Racquetball/Wallyball?
Unfortunately, there are no plans to construct racquetball courts. One of the reasons we are moving into a new location is to provide more space for more people to participate in programs. As most Ys and fitness centers have discovered, the courts are a large, dedicated space for a small number of players.
We understand you may not be happy with this decision, and we are sorry we cannot accommodate every request or need. An option to consider is to try volleyball, pickleball or another sport at the Briggs Y.