NORFOLK- It's opening day Friday for the new YMCA in Norfolk.
The Y on Granby, a 32,000-square foot family center near the Virginia Zoo, opened at 5:30 a.m.
In 2008, the Landmark Foundation and the Hampton Roads Community Foundation asked the YMCA of South Hampton Roads to research the possibilities of developing a YMCA family center to expand services to Park Place and surrounding neighborhoods.
Regina Jenkins has lived in the neighborhood for several years and stopped at the Y to sign up to become a volunteer.
“I’m going to tell you like this. It’s not as bad as it used to be. When I first moved in here, like seven or eight years ago, it was bad. And it calmed down a whole lot,” she said.
With the support of local civic leagues and the City of Norfolk, a two-year research project took place. The conclusion was that a sustainable YMCA family center in the central Norfolk community became a reality with the combination of support from the City and private philanthropy.
Officials say it will be a gathering place, bringing people together regardless of age, income or ethnic background.
It includes an outdoor aquatic center, wellness center, Stay & Play center, Interactive Zone/teen center and music and arts spaces
Shair Harris got a family membership today. Because she qualified for a “scholarship,” she was able to get the maximum reduction in her monthly fee. Instead of paying around $88 a month, she'll pay about $22 a month.
“I thought it was excellent for me to qualify because if I didn’t, I would have had to find something else for my kids to do this summer or for me to do, but fortunately it all worked out.”
For more information, call 757-965-2322 or the YMCA of South Hampton Roads Website.