The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 2, 2011

YMCA: An exercise in renovation

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Members of Denny Price Family YMCA have given an “overwhelming positive response” to the facility’s multi-million dollar expansion and renovation, the organization’s executive director said.

Ken Rapp said members and guests alike have been pleased with the results of the four-phase project.

“It has been a 100 percent improvement over what we had before,” he said. “It is roomy and it’s open and it has windows to the outside.”

Rapp said he’s received many compliments about the finished facility, both from members and visitors.

“I’ve heard people say they do a lot of travel and they take advantage of using their Y memberships, and they say ours is one of the best they’ve been in, especially for the size of community we have,” Rapp said. “Yesterday a lady said, ‘You couldn’t tell this original building was built in 1962 because it’s been modernized so nicely.’”

He said there were two main aspects to the project.

“The new facility addition, which gave us offices and new administrative offices, gave us a new lobby and a new a child watch area,” Rapp said of the YMCA’s remodel. “The renovation portion of the project was the newly expanded cardio/weight training fitness room and a new youth interactive fitness area that we call the I-Zone for the kids.”

Last May, Rapp said there was an all-time high in memberships, with 8,280 members. Gains in membership have been made after completion of each project phase.

Rapp said the all-time high was followed by a drop in membership, which coincided with the recession. “I would say due to the economy we saw our membership dip below 8,000 by year’s end and then this month we reached 8,200 members and it’s still climbing.”

The space created by the project is something members often comment on, Rapp said.

“They would say they love the openness we created. They like the new machines and stretching area that we didn’t have before,” he said. “The renovation made a room that gives you a great exercise experience.”

Rapp said without the community’s support, the YMCA would not be as successful as it is.

“Great community support has allowed us to provide something for Enid that is really special,” he said. “For the 30 years I’ve been affiliated with the YMCA, Enid has always supported this YMCA.

“It really works in a positive sense for our community.”

Rapp described the YMCA as a “melting pot” for Enid.

“We have people from all over Enid that come together that may not ever cross paths. We have all different social and economic levels, as well as the different nationalities,” he said. “We have not only the adults but also the children and teenagers. It’s a place where people who donate to the YMCA also exercise with the people who received the benefits of those donations.”

Monthly membership fees are $41 for adults, $56 for families, $21 for teens, $13 for youths and $34 for senior citizens.

“We have scholarships available for youths and adults, and we provide those scholarships by virtue of United Way funds and our annual Back a Youth Campaign,” Rapp said. “The only way we can do that is because of the community support the Y received from those two programs.”

Last year, 743 youths and teens received scholarships and 340 adults and families received scholarships.

“Come to our newly renovated front lobby,” Rapp said, “and we would be happy to give people a tour of the YMCA and help them get stared with the fitness program.”