Alabaster YMCA begins expansion

Crews with the JohnsonKreis construction company recently began work on a new addition to the Alabaster YMCA branch off Plaza Circle. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster YMCA is looking to more than double the size of its facility off Alabama 119 and add a new, six-lane pool by early 2013, said YMCA District Vice President Lane Vines.

The Alabaster YMCA in 2010 moved most of its programs to the former Body Shop gym building on Plaza Circle. However, the organization is still using a small building and pool near the former Siluria mill site for some programs, such as swim lessons and some youth programs.

Over the past few years, the YMCA has been conducting fundraising campaigns to expand the Plaza Circle building to accommodate the programs currently housed in the Siluria building, Vines said.

The YMCA has raised about $1.7 million to construct the new 18,000-square-foot addition and six-lane pool. The project will more than double the size of the current Park Circle building, and will add additional parking areas to accommodate the larger crowd.

“It is set to be completed in mid-to-late January (2013),” Vines said. “We hope and pray to stay ahead of that schedule, if at all possible.”

The new addition, which will be built on the northern end of the current building, will house the YMCA’s child care programs, and will include a half-court gym. The six-lane pool will be built in front of the building, much like the pool at the Pelham YMCA branch, Vines said.

The pool will be wheelchair-accessible, will feature a zero-entry end and will be about 5-and-a-half feet deep at its deepest point, Vines said.

“We will add more parking on the side and the rear,” Vines said.

The Park Circle building sits on a portion 43 acres owned by the YMCA, which gives the organization “a lot of room” to expand in the future. A vacant field to the north of the building current houses outdoor sports fields.

The Birmingham-based JohnsonKreis construction company, which previously built projects such as the Salvation Army retail store on Alabama 150 in Hoover and the Hampton Inn in Calera, is handling the expansion project.