It's moving week for the YMCA

By Lisa Britton/For the Baker City Herald September 16, 2013 10:01 am

Kathy Orr /Baker City Herald Heidi Dalton, left, CEO of the Baker County YMCA, and Dave Coughlin, an original board member and co-founder of YMCA, looked at the organization’s new fitness center on Sunday. The YMCA renovated the former Wilson’s Market in the Maxi-Mart Center on Pocahontas Road just west of 17th Street, in northwest Baker City. Workers have been busy moving treadmills, exercise bikes and other equipment from the former fitness center on Main Street to the new location, which will open on Saturday morning.
Kathy Orr /Baker City Herald Heidi Dalton, left, CEO of the Baker County YMCA, and Dave Coughlin, an original board member and co-founder of YMCA, looked at the organization’s new fitness center on Sunday. The YMCA renovated the former Wilson’s Market in the Maxi-Mart Center on Pocahontas Road just west of 17th Street, in northwest Baker City. Workers have been busy moving treadmills, exercise bikes and other equipment from the former fitness center on Main Street to the new location, which will open on Saturday morning.

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

By the end of this week, the new Baker County YMCA will be up and running.

“We’re going to be in operating condition by Saturday morning,” said Heidi Dalton, CEO.

The Y has spent the past year working on a new home, and this Saturday’s open house will reveal the new space to the public.

(It is closed this week during the transition.)

What was once Wilson’s Warehouse Market is now the Baker County YMCA — a building remodeled to fit the needs of a fitness center, preschool, and community resources.

The open house is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. It will be open for members to work out, and the community is welcome to tour the building.

Following that is an open house at Sam-O Swim Center, 580 Baker St. from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The pool, which has been closed for nearly two months, will reopen that day with a new paint job.

Features Of New Center

The Y’s new space features a wide-open area for cardio equipment, free weights and circuit weight machines.

A studio — used for various classes — is more than twice as large as the one at the Main Street location, and another multi-purpose room will be used for exercise classes, as well.

The spinning bikes have their own room, and another space — the “Y Theater” — has a big screen projection TV and can be reserved for special occasions (such as that special season finale you want to watch with your friends).

One section of the building has already been in use for a couple of weeks — preschool classes started Sept. 3.

“We didn’t want to have a transition for the kids after just a few weeks,” Dalton said.

There are three preschool classes, with 38 kids total from ages 3 to 5.

Outside the preschool door is a section landscaped by the Master Gardeners from Powder River Correctional Facility — two spaces for grass and trees, and another place for a play structure.

The Y’s second floor features a track that is 1/16th of a mile. The inner lane will be used by runners, and the outer lanes by walkers.

Additional rooms will be leased by Anthony Lakes, Baker Valley Physical Therapy and the Literacy Coalition.

Y Gets Grants For Work

So far, the Y has received $415,000 in grants, and Dalton is waiting to hear on two others that would total an additional $325,000.

Of the grants, Dalton credits the Leo Adler Community Foundation, which awarded the project $75,000 last year.

 “Believing in this project was instrumental in getting the other grants,” she said.

About $100,000 has been raised locally through donations by individuals and corporations, and they received $35,000 in incentives from the Bonneville Power Administration by upgrading insulation and the HVAC system.

“We partnered really well with OTEC to make that happen,” Dalton said.

Total, the project costs $1.2 million. Future plans include building a gym on the south side of the building.