September 28, 2005
Columbia County residents say they need a Family Y closer to them and the Board of Directors agrees. The new 50,000 square foot facility will be located off of Washington Road on Blachard Road in Evans, which will be developed into Blachard Woods Park by the county. But what impact will a new Family Y have on the newly renovated multi-million dollar facility in Richmond County?
Bill Fagan lives in Columbia County and says working out in the storefront Family-Marshall branch facility beats driving across town to the newly renovated Augusta branch.
“I don’t have to go through any traffic about 10 minutes. The other way is getting worse and worse,” Fagan said.
Janette Reynolds feels the same. She says it’s time for a Family Y to come to Columbia County.
“Columbia County can stand it,” Reynolds said.
The Marshall Branch is just two and a half years old and already people working out there have outgrown the 3,700 square-foot facility.
“There is a definite need and tremendous growth in this area as everyone is aware of,” said Christy Leeseburg, Family Y Board of Directors.
But of the 15,000 memberships here at the newly renovated Wilson Branch, many are from Columbia County. So what impact will those memberships have if they leave?
“Some people are afraid that it will bring people away from that branch, but there are so many people in this community who are looking for something like this in the area,” Leeseburg said.
“I don’t think it will have a great impact because we are serving different parts of the community. We have members that live and work in different places and use it,” said John Carney, Family Y Chief Operating Officer.
And when the Columbia County facility is done, the Board of Directors says both facilities will be able to stand on their own.
“They definitely have the support in that area of the community and we will have enough support in this area as well,” Leeseburg said.
With a metro branch membership, members are able to visit any facility around the United States. So there is an advantage to those who get memberships with Augusta’s branch, they’ll also be able to work out at Columbia County’s branch. Other branches throughout the CSRA scheduled to open: The Augusta branch will open October 10 and 11 o’clock and the Augusta South branch will open the first part of December.