YMCA’s Outdoor Fitness Center just beginning in Pacific Beach
by ASHLYN LIPORI-RUSSIE
Published - 03/08/18 - 08:07 AM | 4100 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
People workout at the YMCA's new Outdoor Fitness Center in Pacific Beach.   ASHLYN LIPORI-RUSSIE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
People workout at the YMCA's new Outdoor Fitness Center in Pacific Beach. ASHLYN LIPORI-RUSSIE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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Pacific Beach’s own YMCA branch is officially open for business. The Beach and Bay Family YMCA Outdoor Fitness Center opened in January, promising convenience and a strong community presence. In the few weeks it’s been open, members and managers have seen this goal come to life. 

The completely outdoor facility is home to state-of-the-art exercise equipment. Fitness junkies can lift, squat, and cycle in the sunshine, or take one of my many circuit, strength, yoga, and youth classes available every week. And there’s much more to come.

Construction started in April 2016, after years of discussion with the San Diego Unified School District about building an aquatic center. According to the branch’s executive manager Mike Roberts, “For a community that’s so close to the water, there are limited options for kids to learn to swim.”

The facility is a joint-use area, shared with Pacific Beach Middle.

Some of the school’s physical education classes take place at the center during the day, with plans to host youth sports on the weekends. A lacrosse club has already reserved space on the field.

When completed, the facility will boast a full-access YMCA, outdoor field, and the aquatic center. Fundraisers are currently focused on obtaining community partners for the next stage. “It’s about a $17 million project,” said Roberts, “and we’re at about $3,500,000.” The goal is to break ground in a year and a half.

Located on Ingraham Street at Felspar, the outdoor fitness center is central to the PB community. There’s even a “child watch” facility on site, for parents to drop off their kids.

Lindsay Smith, who lives two blocks from the facility, believes “It’s the best thing for PB.” She exercises at the outdoor center six days a week, leaving her two children at child watch. “The kids ask to come here everyday,” said Smith. “The child staff has made this the go-to place for us. They actually play with the kids, instead of just watching them.”

Moving forward, the Beach and Bay Family YMCA is working to become even more involved. Last week, the center co-hosted an interfaith prayer breakfast at St. Brigid Parish, bringing people together in their own neck of the woods.

The event was a success according to Roberts, who said, “We reached a ton more people, in a way that we’re maybe not always recognized for.” He noted they’re now looking for more opportunities to engage families, kids, and even seniors.

The YMCA is about more than just fitness, according to Roberts who say many come to exercise for an hour, then spend time chatting over coffee with newfound friends.

This YMCA branch hopes to become an integral part of PB for members new and old.

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