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Photo: Rendering courtesy of DUDA/PAINE ARCHITECTS - A new project that could fully transform the Crosby YMCA into a one-stop wellness facility is pushing toward a vote in Winter Park.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Sep. 24, 2015 4 years ago

Plans in motion to give Winter Park a revamped YMCA

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YMCA expanding
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

Winter Park’s Crosby YMCA is getting torn down and rebuilt – part of a larger facility and partnership that focuses on overall health.

The planned facility, which is currently unnamed but is being referred to as “project wellness,” will focus on all three aspects of health: fitness, wellness/clinical and nutrition/education.

The two-story facility will include a new Crosby YMCA with a walking track, gym, heated pool for aerobics, lap pool and three group exercise rooms; a café and classroom kitchen to teach nutrition; and several doctors and therapists on site to answer questions and meet with patients.

Talks began between the Crosby YMCA, the Winter Park Health Foundation and Winter Park Memorial Hospital of an all-encompassing facility as far back as five years ago, and the concept is finally on the verge of becoming a reality.

“We are extremely thrilled that through this project we’re able to offer our members so much more,” said Dori Madison, chief marketing officer of YMCA of Central Florida.

“This is a dream come true.”

Winter Park Health Foundation President and CEO Patty Maddox said the new building will be far more than a new YMCA. It’s a one-stop shop for anything health related, she said. Doctors, therapists and experts will be holding regular seminars focusing on how to live healthy and how to treat specific ailments, Maddox said.

“We could have doctors come in and talk about knee replacements,” Maddox said. “We could have exercise physiologists come in and talk about the appropriate kinds of exercise at different points of life.

“Anything is an opportunity here.”

For the past 20 years, the Winter Park Health Foundation has conducted a Community Health Assessment every five years to assess the health status of residents. Over half of Winter Park residents, per Foundation findings, are living at an unhealthy weight, and more than one-quarter have health risks, which lead to chronic disease conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes or diabetes.

At the same time, findings show that while 80 percent of local residents say caring for their health is very important, over 60 percent report they are less active than they want to be. There is also a documented desire for more awareness and education about how to improve health, yet only 20 percent of community members reported participating in learning opportunities.

The facility will give local residents the chance to stay as healthy as possible, Madison said.

“Today, people who want to stay healthy know it’s not just fitness,” Madison said. “It’s not just eating better. It’s so much more. With wellness, medical and fitness all under one roof, it gives everyone the support they need to really stay healthy.”

Maddox said the project will go before Winter Park’s Planning and Zoning Board this fall, with a first reading before the City Commission set for Nov. 23.

If everything goes as planned, Maddox said, the facility will start construction in the spring of 2016 and be completed by December 2017.

Madison said the Crosby YMCA would be closed during construction for roughly 18 months.

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