By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — While a much-larger project looms on the horizon, the Orleans County YMCA is basking in the light brought on by the first phase of improvements to its Pearl Street headquarters.
More than 1,200 light fixtures were installed at the Medina Armory as part of a National Grid-assisted project in November, which along with much-appreciated repairs to the building’s roof have created a much warmer atmosphere in the bustling community center.
While the sepia tones produced by the Y’s old lighting system provided a mood-builder at events like the annual Halloween festivities, having a clear view across the building’s vast gymnasium on a Tuesday morning is much preferred by the hundreds of people that come to the YMCA each day.
The results of the project, the first in a planned series of wide-ranging improvements, have been well-received. Orleans YMCA Director Jeff Winters said everyone from children in last week’s winter break day camp program to the floor hockey, basketball and volleyball league participants have enjoyed the new view.
“The reaction has been all positive,” Winter said. “The lights are a big change — our serious volleyball players can see the whole court.”
Even how the facility lights up has changed. Winter flicked the gym’s lights on and off in about two seconds, a switch that would have taken about 20 minutes last year. The switch has also led to a decrease in heating and electricity costs.
“With this building, overhead is always an issue,” Winters said. “We’re already seeing savings.”
The Orleans County YMCA is planning a major capital campaign and project in the coming years. The project under consideration would remodel much of the armory’s first floor, with a more accessible entranceway, a larger lobby and improvements in the Y’s workout areas.
Winters said those additions would aid the many groups that participate in Y activities and programs and then stay for post-workout gatherings.
”Socialization is important,” Winter said, noting the seniors in the Silver Sneakers program hanging out after this morning workouts. “It’s going to be easier for our little pocket communities.”Contact reporter Jim Krencikat 798-1400, ext. 6327.