Aiken plans new Family Y

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

Aiken County is getting a YMCA.

Located just between Aiken and Graniteville, the new Y is nestled in what's expected to be Aiken County's new hot spot.

Pilates class is just of one the perks of a nearby YMCA.

"It's more of a family atmosphere. It's a good place for kids to play. There are a lot of programs for children, especially in the summertime," says Velina Banks, who has been enjoying North Augusta's Family Y since it opened in October.

"We just think of the Y as a place to bring people together," says Metro Augusta Family Y President Danny McConnell. "Kind of a front porch of the community."

And now people in Aiken and Graniteville will have a front porch.

Fine Deering Development donated part of their Trolley Run Station subdivision land off William Bell Parkway.

The building will be 50,000 square feet and include indoor and outdoor pools, a water park, and an indoor track.

It will be called the Wyatt Family Y, after Aiken County businessman Weldon Wyatt.

And now, the community must raise $7 million to build it.

Wyatt's daughter, Ashley Donaldson, is in charge of fundraising.

"We do have lots of volunteers and lots of people who are eager and ready to start, so we get to work," Donaldson says.

The North Augusta Y is little more than a weight circuit and a few treadmills, but they expect to grow. And there are plans for the other Y's in the CSRA.

McConnell hopes the next announcement will be for a large YMCA in Columbia County.

"It has everything to do with this kind of thing happening. A generous donor, a community getting behind it saying we're willing to give," McConnell says.

Soon, it won't be nearly as much of a stretch for everyone to get a good workout.

We won't see the Wyatt Family Y for a few years.

To allow time for fundraising, construction will begin in the summer of 2009 and should be complete by February 2011.

For more information, visit http://www.thefamilyy.org/.


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