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Y Center opens after upgrade

24 November 2013 By James Greene, Staff Writer One Comment

Patrick Burke/ The Towerlight

The long-awaited Towson Family Center Y is now open and ready for use after the upgrade of the facility on West Chesapeake Ave.

The center which opened on Nov. 11 includes a health bar, two saltwater swimming pools: a water park style family fun pool and a six lane lap pool, a rock wall, an indoor cycling space and recreational green space with picnic tables.

According to John Hoey, CEO for the Y of Central Maryland, the Towson location was the first opportunity to build something from scratch in a space that had previously been occupied.

A large, open lobby with many comfortable seating areas welcomes guests but with the added twist of a gas-powered fire place.

The Towson Y location is the first in the state of Maryland to be LEED certified, Hoey said.

Colorful leaves are posted throughout the building to educate about the socially responsible considerations of design.

“We paid a lot of attention to sustainability to the building,” Hoey said. “We want to educate the public in what the LEED certification is all about.”

The new location is a reflection of the surrounding community, according to a press release from the Y of Central Maryland.

“The exterior was designed to fit with multiple roof lines, colors and exterior finishes that fit within the context of the neighborhood’s homes,” the press release reads.

Hoey said the Y in Towson is 90 percent complete but will be finished once the old building is gone.

“This will give us about 3,000 square feet for three multipurpose rooms once the old center is closed and demolished,” he said. “We will actually end up with more green space after that.”

The space offers activities for the whole family with a “Stay and Play” space that has games and activities for young children.

“We did not want to approach this as a fitness club that tries to generate revenue,” Hoey said. “We are going after a part of the community that might not feel comfortable in going to a health club.”

The Y of Towson currently has 7,500 members but is expected to reach 15,000 with the new opening. The cost of the project is about $12 million and is anticipated to be completed in May 2014.

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