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Huntington YMCA expansion plans are in the works

The Huntington YMCA in Huntington Village is pictured.

The Huntington YMCA in Huntington Village is pictured. (Nov. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

The Huntington YMCA is thinking about beefing up and expanding, again.

The group, with the completion of a multimillion-dollar expansion in 2010, is looking to add a building to its Main Street campus to accommodate growing community participation in its programs.

The building would have up to 25,000 square feet.

"We've outgrown our space," said Eileen Knauer, executive director of the Y. "There's a lot of need in this community for indoor sports space. We really respond to what the community tells us they need, so I think there is potential for other collaborations within the community if we have the right place to put it."

The project is still a couple of years off, Knauer said, and she estimates it will cost about $5.5 million. Y officials are preparing applications to put before the town zoning board of appeals and working on securing donors and setting up fundraisers for the project.

"They need more space so they came to us with a plan that includes redoing the parking in the complex for town use as well as the Cinema Arts," Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said.

The Y sits between Town Hall to the west and the Cinema Arts Centre to the east.

The new, free-standing building would be dedicated to housing the organization's healthy living programs such as initiatives aimed at preventing diabetes, falls by seniors and youth obesity; as well as a program for cancer survivors.

The building would also have an indoor sports facility with a high school-sized gymnasium and studios for the Y's wellness programs.

It would host senior citizen programing, the free preteen and teen program, youth sports and dance, and the after-school program.

The Y has been using a small gymnasium in the town-owned building where the Cinema Arts Centre is housed, but the group has outgrown the space.

"The [YMCA] board said if we were going to look into any renovation, we should look into our own property and possibly build an addition one more time to have a gymnasium or basketball court," Knauer said.

Petrone said when the Y moves, the town will use the vacated space at the Cinema Arts Centre to extend the town's recreation programs.

In 2009, the Y began construction of a two-story, $6.2 million, 18,000-square-foot child care center and fitness center addition.

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