ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The YMCA at Red Bud Park is set to have its $5.6 million renovation and expansion complete by the end of 2021. This community facility was first built in 1984 and hasn’t received an upgrade in the 37 years since.

“Just cosmetic, paint and those kinds of things. This is the first major undertaking to completely renovate the whole building,” says Abilene YMCA CEO David Hendricks.

Though the YMCA already offers childcare, workout facilities, a public pool, after school and summer education programs, this more than 10,000 square foot expansion is expected to vastly improve the quality and quantity of services they can provide.

“It’s gonna have a teaching kitchen, a theater portion, a STEM lab, very educational. It’ll service around 300 children when it’s open,” said Hendricks.

CEO David Hendricks showcases newly completed locker room

In addition to the childcare improvements, a new wellness center will be constructed in the front portion of the building where education is housed now, and there will be upgrades to the current locker rooms and bathroom facilities.

“We’ve done a lot of this before, but just on a smaller scale because we didn’t have a dedicated space,” Hendricks says.

Abilene Reporter article on the 1984 construction of the RedBud YMCA

In 1984 they raised more than $3.9 million to fund the building of the center; this expansion costs $1.7 million more than the original construction.

“There’s nothing like this in Abilene and nothing like this at another YMCA in Texas,” says Hendricks.

Just as it was in the ’80s, the money has come in mostly through community donations,. except for the small portion that will be financed.

“It’s been a major undertaking, but we’re setting up to serve Abilene for the next 50 years,” said Hendricks.