Lake Norman & Mooresville

YMCA renovations complete

Members of the Lake Norman YMCA are being treated to a renovated wellness center with a fresh look, including a spacious view of Lake Cornelius, a more open floor plan and new cardio equipment.

The wellness center, which was scheduled to reopen Dec. 21, cost $300,000, with funds coming from the branch's reserve account, where funds are accumulated for needed projects. YMCA officials are hoping that it will attract more people to their facility.

"We frequently survey our members to access their feelings about our facility," said Executive Director Erika Arnold. "One thing they have been telling us for a while is that we needed to update our fitness space. The project was also included in our branch master plan so the time seemed right to undertake the improvements."

Final plans for the renovation were approved in the fall of 2010 by the YMCA Metro Charlotte Planning and Facilities Committee, and the job was awarded to Cummings Construction of Matthews. The main goal of the project was to make more efficient use of existing space, although an additional 300 square feet were also added to the exercise room where offices once existed.

"The YMCA is focused on healthy living, social responsibility and youth development," said Arnold. "This renovation will allow us to do a better job in all of those areas. The space has been opened up and views to the lake have been improved, allowing for a much more pleasant, and therefore motivating, exercise experience."

The new center will also allow members and staff to be much more visible, encouraging conversations among members, visitors and the staff.

The Lake Norman branch is one of 22 facilities comprising the Charlotte-area YMCA. It was originally opened in 1969, serving several hundred visitors from a small building at the foot of Davidson Street, where the indoor pool is still located. Today, the 67,000-square-foot building houses programs that serve more than 7,000 people, most of whom come from Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville. Membership between men and women is virtually even.

Members have unlimited access to a wide variety of group exercise classes for free and receive special prices and first priority on registration for fee-based programs such as personal training, sport leagues, after-school activities, day camp, resident camp and swim lessons.

Arnold, 40, a Massachusetts native, began working for the Charlotte area YMCA in 1996. Before joining the Lake Norman facility, she worked in Mooresville as the new Lowe's YMCA was built.

"I believe that this fitness center renovation will allow both our current and future members to feel a stronger dedication to meeting their healthy living goals," she said.