ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Since its construction in 1984, the Abilene YMCA at Red bud Park has been in near constant operation. Now after 38 years of service, its first and only large scale renovation and expansion is complete. It was a $5.6 million project, entirely community funded.

“It’s been three years of fundraising and two years of construction,” said David Hendricks, CEO of YMCA Abilene.

This project has brought upgrades to the Y’s wellness center, as well as the equipment in use. Now, the gym is connected with the training pool, sauna and fully operational spin class. Those are improvements being enjoyed by members new and old, according to longtime employee, JJ Orange.

“That’s one of the reasons why they possibly didn’t join, because the building was so outdated. Now that it has been renovated, they’re starting to come,” Orange said.

On the other side of the building, an entirely new child education wing has been added. This addition vastly expanded the quality of care staff are able to offer to children in the summer and after school.

“We have a teaching kitchen, we have a theater arts area, we have homework areas, STEAM areas for science and technology,” Hendricks listed. “So, we’re just going to really be able to expand the scope of what these children have access to.”

The Gym and Childcare facilities have been open since mid spring, though some minor additions are still being installed. Hendricks told KTAB/KRBC advanced security measures are on their way to enable extended gym hours for members. It’s just one more feature Hendricks said he sees as an investment by and for the Abilene community.

“This was all done with donations from the community. The overall project was like five-and-a-half million dollars,” Hendricks added. “So that’s a wonderful thing that shows that the community supports the Y.”