YMCA dedicates new Alabaster building

YMCA Regional Vice President Lane Vines and DAY Program Executive Director Kathy Miller, center, cut the ribbon on the new Alabaster YMCA building off Plaza Circle. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

YMCA Regional Vice President Lane Vines and DAY Program Executive Director Kathy Miller, center, cut the ribbon on the new Alabaster YMCA building off Plaza Circle. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

For longtime YMCA and DAY Program volunteer Neil Bailey, April 5 brought some strong feelings.

“I feel like a father whose wife has given birth to twins today,” Bailey said of the two organizations. “Today isn’t about me. There are several hundred people who got us to where we are today.”

Bailey and about 50 others gathered at the new Alabaster YMCA building on Plaza Circle on April 5 to dedicate the organization’s newly expanded building, which has been open since late January.

The YMCA purchased the former Body Shop gym building on Plaza Circle in 2010, and constructed a more than 18,000-square-foot addition to the building.

The new addition features a new YMCA-themed main entrance on the western side of the building, a few multi-purpose meeting rooms, concrete floors, a large gym, new locker rooms, an indoor whirlpool and an outdoor wheelchair-accessible swimming pool. Before construction began on the expansion, the Alabaster YMCA building already featured a large workout area and outdoor sports fields.

The new YMCA building replaced the former Alabaster YMCA location near the city’s Senior Center, which was several decades old.

The new wing’s second floor houses the DAY Program, which works to provide hope and support for Shelby County students who have been struggling in their local schools. With the new location, the DAY Program will be able to serve 100 students instead of the 60 it served at its former location.

“In the few months we’ve been here, it’s evident that this facility will continue to make an even greater difference in the lives of students,” said DAY Program Executive Director Kathy Miller.

YMCA of Greater Birmingham CEO Stan Law said the new Alabaster location will help the organization better serve Shelby County’s largest city.

“This is really the next step up in the way the YMCA serves this community,” Law said.

YMCA Regional Vice President Lane Vines said the YMCA is working with the city and county to possibly connect the Buck Creek Trail, which currently terminates at Warrior Park, to Thompson High School and the YMCA.