Big expansion plans underway at the YMCA in OS

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Blossman family YMCA in Ocean Springs opened in 1975. There have been improvements made over the years, but nothing like what is now being planned. A $2.5 million expansion project is currently in the works.

"These facilities have served thousands of people, and really, they are starting to show their age," YMCA Director Phillip Doiron said. "And also the community, the need for the services the 'Y' supplies has outgrown and outstripped out current facility."

That facelift is coming, according to Doiron.

"A new wellness and membership facility is coming. What that will encompass is a new fitness center, an indoor walking track, a group sized lobby area for members to gather."

No doubt, the expansion plan at the YMCA is very ambitious, and will take a lot of hard work, not to mention a lot of money. But raising that money has been surprisingly easy for those in charge of trying to do it.

Mickey Williams is the YMCA Fundraising Co-Chairman.

"We've been real pleased with the response and we've been able to collect over a million dollars in pledges and actual cash for the campaign," Williams said.

Current YMCA members, like Francis Selman, are looking forward to the changes on the way.

"We're very excited and very supportive of the 'Y' for many years and I'm looking forward to this expansion," Selman said.

The members aren't the only ones.  So are staff members, like Wellness Director Joey Conwill.

"We're very excited because we get to see the members get excited and get what they deserve," Conwill said.  "We have the best members here, great programs, great staff and great programs. Now we just a nice fresh building to put all this in."

The improvements will almost certainly make a big splash for members and guests alike.

Officials at the YMCA say they hope to break ground on the expansion in the early part of next year, and be ready to move in by the summer of 2015.

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