For over 108 years, the Rye YMCA has acted as the vibrant and diverse heart of the community welcoming families and individuals from New York neighborhoods such as Rye, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Port Chester and beyond.
That commitment will only continue to grow with the recent opening of The Studios at Rye YMCA. The new, state-of-the-art community hub will provide an additional 10,000 square feet to the community with another 10,000 square feet for future development.
The new facility will serve as the Y’s location for group exercise and community wellness classes. Total renovation costs were approximately $2.1 million, and the organization has raised $1.4 million through its ongoing Better Together Capital Campaign.
“The Y Studios serves those seeking a range of fitness classes, health and wellness programs, social connections and more,” said Lisa Tidball, the director of communications. “By moving our group exercise classes to the new facility, we have freed up space at our main facility for expanding much needed childcare for working families.”
Grand Opening and Features
On Saturday, June 18, the Y held a grand opening, inviting community members of all ages to a morning of activities on Rye’s Village Green and an open house at the Y Studios.
Tidball said the Y had been looking for a new space for several years before COVID-19 derailed their plans. However, they pivoted after the pandemic and developed a new vision that would serve many constituencies.
“It’s often said that with crisis comes opportunity,” she said. “During the worst of the pandemic in 2020, it became clear that our community needed two things: more opportunities to maintain their mental, emotional and physical health, and childcare. We researched fitness trends and talked to members about their interests. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and indoor cycling remain very popular nationally and among our members.”
The Studios at Rye YMCA will have the following rooms and features
- Group Exercise Studio
- Yoga Studio
- HIIT Studio
- Indoor Cycling Studio
- Child Watch Area
- Community Room
- Lobby Area
Tidball said at the Y’s main facility they had only one small group exercise studio, one small indoor cycling studio and an underutilized “ExerZone.” So, the number and types of classes they could offer was limited.
“We were especially interested in developing programming that attracted new members, including those new to the area and those who might otherwise gravitate to boutique gyms,” she said. “We wanted programming that brings the latest in fitness trends to our Y, offers a modern welcoming space for social interaction and incorporates state-of-the-art technology.”
Feedback and Benefits
Tidball said the Y’s membership numbers declined “significantly” during their pandemic-related closure in 2020 and did not rebound when the main building was devastated by flooding in September 2021.
But with their building restored and the Studios now open, she said they have already started rebuilding their membership pool. In particular, Tidball added one of the standout features for members thus far was the HIIT Studio.
Another benefit is the facility allowed the Y to expand its childcare programs. In addition to a long-standing after school program, a summer camp and a pre-school enrichment program, they now run the Early Learning Center. This program provides a full-day child care for ages 18 months to five years.
“We have received extremely positive feedback from our members and from the community at large,” she said. “We are looking forward to welcoming more people to the Y Studios as we ramp up programming to include health and wellness speakers, chronic disease prevention classes and public events. Tidball also passed along the following positive reaction from Rye YMCA member Brooks Englehardt:
“The Studios at the Rye YMCA appeals to me because of the passionate instructors,” said Englehardt. “Their motivational coaching keeps me pushing myself. The flexibility of classes fits my schedule, and the new facility is beautiful.”
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