In 1851 the first Young Men’s Christian Association in America was created. The YMCA was inspired by George Williams who built the very first Y in England and nearly 15 years later Kalamazoo had its own.
YMCA disbanded in Kalamazoo around 1871 but another 15 years later Board president F.M. Hodge and his company returned to Kalamazoo. Since then, The Young Men’s Christian Association has been developing and growing rapidly and by 2020 the Y had nearly 21,000 members.
As the YMCA slowly moves towards normal operations, they have set requirements for participants to follow. Members planning to use the facility must socially distance, take a temperature test and self health check before entering, sanitize, and check in and out with staff. The Y is taking every safety precaution necessary to provide consumers with safe and fun activities.
“Nearly every area of the facility is open, just with some modifications,” said Human Resource Director, Kristen Lovely. “Our cardio room, track, gymnasium, tennis courts, pickleball courts and fitness classes are all up and running. The most common modification that we’ve made is to limit the people allowed into each activity in order to be able to abide by all guidelines set up by the health department.” As the YMCA stays open with new sanitary procedures being followed, the normal capacity of people allowed in the facility has to be altered.
Before Covid19, individuals could obtain a closer distance than 6 feet from another without highly risking their health. Now, the YMCA and other high capacity facilities have to set specific actions and quantities of members to help reduce the spread of Covid.
- Hi, my name is Camrynn Sanders, and I am a sophomore at Gull Lake High School. I enjoy spending my time outdoors adventuring and dancing at a nearby studio. I also like to paint and write stories, which is a huge role in why I joined newspaper. I enjoy writing about nature and the beautiful memoirs the Earth holds. I have three older siblings who also attended Gull Lake and graduated as I also plan to do.