New YMCA brings healthy lifestyles, jobs, to Newcastle

November 6, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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When the Coal Creek YMCA opened its doors in August, it had 1,000 members. Since then, membership has grown to 2,500 and expects to be at 2,800 members by the end of the year.

“The community is healthy,” said Michele Petitti, director of development for the Coal Creek YMCA.Memberships range from $27 to $93 per month. All seven members of the City Council are members of the YMCA.

The 48,000-square-foot facility cost $19.75 million to build, and it was one of three new YMCAs to be built recently in King County. The other two are the Dale Turner YMCA in Shoreline, which opened in October 2008, and the Matt Griffin YMCA in SeaTac, which opened last month.

The Coal Creek facility is LEED-certified, meaning it is a leader in energy efficiency. It is a silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design facility (the second-highest). To attain this rating, the facility was built with approved materials. The facility also minimizes waste, water and energy consumption, and emission of greenhouse gases.

The facility even uses environmentally friendly cleaners and reserves spaces for energy-efficient cars near its entrance, as these were both requirements for certification.

Inside the building, the facility boasts 67 exercise machines. Its busiest hours are 8 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. each day. During these hours, the facility checks in about 110 people per hour.

The facility offers more than 95 classes per week, including yoga, strength training and water fitness.

During September, the Kids Zone and Adventure Zone served 3,300 children. However, individual children do account for multiple uses.

There are also more than 400 individuals taking swimming lessons at the facility.

“Swimming lessons have been over the top,” Petitti said.

The Coal Creek YMCA also provides 22 full-time jobs and 150 part-time jobs.

Associate Executive Director Judy Smith said the facility has done a great job of bringing the community together.

“It’s a place where people can gather and connect,” she said. “It’s healthy, it’s fun, it’s connecting.”

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