BROOKVILLE — From March 17 to May 29, the Brookville YMCA was out of business, due obviously to the coronavirus pandemic mitigation measures set forth by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
For YMCA executive director Tina Householder, it was a matter of grabbing a paint brush and making the best of it.
Householder said that the building got plenty of new paint in the gymnasium area with the running track and walls along with the gym floor getting resurfaced. Stairwells got a new coat of paint as well along with the weight room.
But most significant was removal of part of the wall to the fitness room just off the track above the basketball court. Windows were added, opening up that area to the gymnasium.
Along with plenty of cleaning as well, Householder felt that they made the best of a difficult situation that, she says, has claimed other less fortunate YMCAs around the country. Some have been forced to shut down.
“In some ways, it’s marvelous because people are really happy with what happened while we were closed, but in a bad sense, we didn’t draft memberships and if anyone had a membership, we extended that through the shutdown of course,” Householder said.
Clearly, the overall sense of working out in a group setting — with the proper social distancing plans now in place — is something most people are looking for when working out.
“There’s something about being around people doing it together,” Householder said. “If I learned anything, I really feel like there’s more of a purpose here than what I actually thought.”
While its daycare operation — it opened May 11 — has its own regulations and rules.
“Our parents have been awesome,” Householder said. “They’ve never quit bringing their kids and we haven’t had any complaints. They’re just happy to have something like this for their child.”
Householder said that the size of the building pretty much handles most of any type of regular daily crowd that works out at the YMCA, but members are signing a waiver acknowledging the risk of contracting COVID-19. Spin bikes are spaced six feet apart and plenty of signs are posted reminding users to clean workout machines and weights when finished.
Even the Silver Sneakers senior adult workout class, ages 60 to 90, has gotten back into the swing of things, around 10 or so individuals returning to workouts. As many as 25, mostly during the winter months, attend the class. Householder is surprised that the group has generally returned to summer month totals.
Youth swimming programs are started and Householder said that 26 children were in a recent class with their cap set at 30 as has always been the case.