One more void left by YMCA closure filled

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

The loss of the Winchester YMCA late last year left a void in more ways than one.

Several of those voids have been filled throughout the past year.

Local people and organizations stepped up to create youth and intramural sports leagues to replace those that were lost when the Y closed.

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Several local gyms offered membership discounts and worked with former Y members to get them acclimated to a new workout environment. A new gym, Planet Fitness, recently opened on Bypass Road as well.

Although the community suffered a great loss in the closing of the local YMCA, we have been happy and full of pride to see the community respond to its own needs. It’s empowering and exciting to see local people rise to the occasion.

One void left by the YMCA’s closing was concerning the use of the large building, swimming pool, tennis courts and gymnasium on the campus at Westmeade Drive.

For months, many have questioned how that property could be used to benefit the community and also nearby property owners.

Thankfully, a local family who has operated a business in the community for more than a decade got the OK last week to use the property.

Once again, the property will be used as a location for physical activity and community gathering.

The Winchester-Clark County Board of Adjustments approved a request enabling Thoroughbred Gymnastics to operate out from the old YMCA building. Thoroughbred Gymnastics owners Paul and Kathy Bradley applied in July for a conditional use permit for the 14,000 square foot property, which is zoned Agricultural. The YMCA was able to operate on the property with a similar permit.

The planning and zoning board fully supported the project, and so do we.

This move will allow local business owners to expand their business and programming and bring visitors from surrounding communities for tournaments and competitions.

It is our desire to see local businesses thrive and grow, and this is a great example of just that.

Not only will the former Y building not sit vacant for years and years to come, but neighbors can rest assured that the property will be used to benefit the community and a local family.