Tom Cole can see years and years of attending the Bay St. George YMCA.
The member of the new and improved YMCA in Stephenville, which was the former West Coast Training Centre, said the official opening on Sunday was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
He said the new facility currently has approximately 800 members, but Cole expects that number to rise. Cole is hoping to see a lot more young people use the YMCA.
Cole noted childhood obesity as an issue in the province and hopes the new facility “focus on addressing it.”
Christine Young, chief executive officer of the Humber Community YMCA, said the building itself is the resource and the tool it uses to promote health and that the YMCA is centred on community and really belongs to the people who use it.
She said the Stephenville YMCA has a wonderful staff, who are eager to hear what services people want at the facility.
Premier Tom Marshall said the first time he visited the West Coast Training Centre, he couldn’t believe what a great facility it was.
He said now that it’s refurbished, it’s once again a warm and friendly building providing a quality environment for physical activity.
He said the building will bring endless opportunities for programs aimed at health and noted that getting it to where it now is has been a team effort and a labour of love.
Jade Kearney, YMCA board chair, announced that with the official opening of the Stephenville building, the Humber Community YMCA is undergoing a name change and will now be called the YMCA of Western Newfoundland to be more reflective of the two YMCA facilities under its umbrella.
Mayor Tom O’Brien of Stephenville said oddly enough he had to thank the provincial government for shutting down the former West Coast Training Centre in their budget 2013.
He said that made way for the changes that took place and that the YMCA building is a tremendous success because of the efforts of a large group of people. Those include the towns of Stephenville and Kippens, the YMCA, and $515,000 in funding from the provincial government along with the keys to the building.
O’Brien said that joint effort proved to be th “recipe for the great success” of the Bay St. George YMCA.