Community Notes, Featured

New Jackie Robinson YMCA Near Reopening Day

September 27, 2017

By Mario A. Cortez

After 18 months of reconstruction efforts, the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA is closer and closer to celebrating its grand reopening.

The original Jackie Robinson YMCA facilities shut down their operations in March of 2016, with construction work on new facilities being done since the closure.

“There has never been a YMCA closed down to build a new one before, but we wanted to do it right and make sure that we had the right facility for this community,” said Michael Brunker, executive director of the Jackie Robinson YMCA to La Prensa San Diego during an exclusive tour.

Work on the new facility began with the trucking in of 20,000 cubic yards of dirt to raise the level of the new construction by six feet, creating a pedestal for southeast San Diego’s YMCA location.

Brunker highlighted some of the new, open space elements and architecture inside and outside of the new building.

“When you come into the new Y through our sliding glass doors, there is a lobby where someone will greet you by name and our donor wall,” Brunker pointed out. “The entrance spaces are big and wide so you can easily get to a lot of places inside.”

Upon entry, wide hallways lead to many of the renovated facility’s zones.

To the left of the entrance, one can find the new multi use gymnasium, which can host sports such as basketball and volleyball and community events. One can also find the Multigenerational Room, a space which will host a number of activities and resources for visitors of all ages as well as a meeting space for events and meetings.

Entering and to the right, two supervised children’s areas, one for ages one through six and the other for ages seven through 12, will provide parents for a space for their children to engage in quality activities as well as a playground.

“These rooms are not babysitting, the YMCA is strongly focused on youth development and activities to develop their health and their values as well as their academics and early learning,” Brunker Pointed out.

Access to brand new lockers and to an aquatics center, scheduled to open in 2019, is also found on the right side of the complex as soon as one enters.

The facility’s teen center, which can be found straight through the entrance, will provide technology and other resources to member teens.

A lounge area which emcompasses an indoor and outdoor space cal also be found straight through the entrance area.

Outside, the All-Star Sports Complex field allows for a variety of sports to be played. This artificial turf field can be configured for baseball, softball, teeball, soccer, lacrosse and many more activities.

One of the most exciting Jackie Robinson YMCA additions is the campus’ new second floor, which will feature 11,000 square feet of space. The second floor workout area will include new equipment and zones for weights, circuit training, and cardio.

“The equipment we used to have at this Y was all donated from other locations, so when they got new stuff we got their old stuff,” Brunker highlighted. “ But now we’ll have weights, cardio and circuit training gear, all state of the art equipment.”

Administrative offices for staff and rooms for aerobics classes and spin cycling will also be located on the second floor.

With completion day coming closer and closer, those working on this project are more than satisfied with what they have been accomplishing over the last 18 months.

“Everybody working on building this put their best into it just to have construction done on time and looking good,” said project superintendent Anthony Ibarra. “A lot of workers grew up around here and are proud to be a part of this and to have something like this in their neighborhood. It’s great to be a part of this.”

The Jackie Robinson YMCA will celebrate a soft opening for existing and charter members on Oct. 18 and its community grand opening on Oct. 28.

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