With discouraging weather outside, the inside of the Duluth Area Family YMCA was bustling on Wednesday afternoon.
A small class was working strenuously to a pounding rock beat on the recently installed TRX whole-body suspension training system. A man passed by on diligent laps around the indoor track. On the next level down, one young man shot hoops on one side of the Y’s gymnasium, while a pickup game was underway on the other side. Elsewhere, one man was reading while giving his legs a workout on a spin bike. Many of the Y’s treadmills were in vigorous use.
On an average day, a thousand people make use of the 80,000-square-foot building at 302 W. First St., said Jeramy Katchuba, the downtown branch’s executive director since 2011.
For one week in May, they’ll have to go elsewhere.
From May 20-27, the downtown branch will be closed for a “building refresh,” the Y announced to its members and the public on Wednesday. It’s actually the second phase of a three-phase project that began with the $39,000 installation of the TRX equipment in March and will conclude with replacement of all of the Y’s cardio equipment - the spin bikes, recumbent exercise bikes and treadmills - in August.
Total price tag: $250,000.
It’s the most extensive update of the 1966 building since a $5 million renovation in 2009-11.
“We’re about eight years out now since we’ve done any of the major upkeeps,” said Katchuba, while providing a tour of the five-level facility. “So that’s what we’re focusing on right now.”
The building will be closed during the second phase, which will include locker room updates, floor resurfacing, racquetball court surface replacement and refreshment, deep cleaning throughout the building and re-grouting of the pool and all tile surfaces.
The outdated men’s locker room, due to be extensively updated, actually will be closed for three weeks and the pool for two, Katchuba said. It takes two days just to drain the pool and another two days to fill it.
The downtown Y hasn’t been closed for as long as a week in 13 years, Katchuba said, although that used to be a yearly occurrence.
“It took a lot of careful consideration, but we really determined that there was so much stuff that we needed to do that we really needed the space cleared for a week,” he said.
While the building is closed, members will be able to exercise at the Superior YMCA, 9 N. 21st St., through a reciprocal membership agreement. They also can participate in fitness classes at Duluth’s Woodland Community Center, the Wells Fargo Building in downtown Duluth and the Gary-New Duluth Rec Center.
To learn more
Information about hours and class availability while the downtown Duluth YMCA is closed is available at duluthymca.org and by calling the Y at (218) 722-4745.