Residents of downtown Phoenix will soon get a newer, bigger facility to work out at, thanks to a partnership between the Lincoln Downtown Family YMCA and Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus. The Lincoln Downtown Family YMCA will be expanding, adding an additional 50,000 square feet to the south side of the existing building, said Greg Corns, Vice President of Operations and Communications. The first floor will be an expanded fitness area, which will include cardio machines, strength-training equipment, and areas for stretching, said Corns. Classrooms for the exercise and wellness programs at ASU will be located on the second floor, in addition to aerobic and cycling rooms, said Corns. There will also be two gymnasiums on the third and fourth floor and an interior running track on the third floor, said Corns. The top level will have a student pool, which will include a lap pool and play pool, said Corns. A lobby will separate the two buildings, but it will be a co-use facility, and all members, not only students, will be able to use the expanded building, said Corns. However, there will be some areas, such as classrooms, specifically reserved for ASU students, said Corns. Corns described the exterior of the planned building as a “cool, architectural rendering, showing glass across the bottom and brush steel up top.” An enclosed area at the top of the building will allow functions to take place, said Corns. The expanded facility is being funded by student dollars, and will cost about $26 million, said Corns. ASU bought two lots to the south of the current YMCA building for
the expansion to take place, said Corns. Construction is set to begin in June 2012, and the facility is estimated to be complete in fall of 2013, said Corns. The two entities currently have a joint partnership, and ASU students and staff on the downtown Phoenix campus are able to use the facility, which is also open to members that are not associated with the university. Unlike the Tempe campus, which has a Student Recreation Center on campus, the downtown Phoenix campus does not currently have a recreation center solely for the use of students. Taylor Place, the residential dorms on the downtown Phoenix campus, has a small gym for residents on the second floor, but it only has several cardio and strength machines. Amenities of the current Lincoln Downtown Family YMCA building include cardio and strength-training equipment, a weight room, an indoor pool, a room for group exercise classes, a cycling studio, and racquetball courts. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of the downtown Phoenix campus student population uses the YMCA, said Corns. Most students only use the facility during the school year because they do not live in the dorms during the summer. The downtown Phoenix campus continues to grow each year. Samantha Soto, a student at the downtown Phoenix campus, said she thinks that more students will begin using the facility once the expansion is complete. Kyle Kisling, an employee at the Lincoln Downtown Family YMCA and a student at ASU, said he believes that membership from downtown Phoenix residents will increase as well.
“I think it’ll free up some of our equipment and more members will come in,” said Kisling. “We’re looking forward to the project. I think it’s going to be a unique partnership, and I think it’s one that will be significant to the downtown core. I think our visions are much the same - to serve students, to serve the community,” said Corns.