Gahanna/John E. Bickley YMCA members soon will be able to work out in style with new equipment and renovated facilities, thanks to the YMCA of Central Ohio and a gift from the Limited Brands Foundation.
Gahanna YMCA director Paul Westenheffer said he is thrilled and honored to have the Y collaborate with the Limited Brands Foundation and Victoria's Secret to better serve the Gahanna community.
An undisclosed financial gift from the Limited Brands Foundation to revitalize the interior spaces of the Y will make the local facility more conducive to helping individuals develop healthy habits, Westenheffer said.
Improvements will include new carpeting, fresh paint and a new color palette, new surfaces on the member service desk and vanities, newly-designed resource displays and large-screen televisions.
New equipment will feature rotating staircases, a high-tech spinning bike, a rope climber, treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers and other cardio equipment.
"Whether it is refurbished fitness areas, which will help the community stay healthy, or a new coffee and lounge area for seniors to have a welcoming place to meet with friends, or revitalized locker rooms designed for families, the Victoria's Secret and YMCA teams worked closely together with the needs of the whole community in mind," Westenheffer said.
Construction began Dec. 16 and is expected to be completed by mid-January. Finishing touches like painting and lighting are scheduled to be finished by the Gahanna Y's 10th anniversary in March.
"The bulk of it will be done soon," Westenheffer said.
He said the collaboration between the YMCA and Limited Brands went beyond the monetary gift by the foundation.
"The YMCA has added to the total to help us purchase additional equipment, both to replenish items that needed replaced and to add newer, state-of-the-art equipment," Westenheffer said. "It will be of great appeal to our members and others. This wasn't a capital campaign. The grant triggered the whole project. We looked at what we could get done and how to complement the grant."
Led by YMCA board member Patrick Sanderson, COO of Victoria's Secret stores, a team of Victoria's Secret interior designers volunteered their time and talents to partner with YMCA leaders over the course of several months to redesign spaces that weren't inviting. They also considered what was needed to help Y members meet their personal goals.
"With these new spaces, the YMCA refreshes its promise to be a place in which all are welcome, feel comfortable and confident and are supported by YMCA staff that is dedicated to their personal growth and well-being," Westenheffer said.