YWCA of Alexandria/Pineville expands

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The YWCA of Alexandria/Pineville is expanding its presence in central Louisiana.

The Town Talk reported (http://townta.lk/1fUo82y) the YWCA will reopen the former Turner Street YMCA as a new YWCA location.

“It has been a whirlwind,” said YWCA Executive Director Katie Vanderlick. “We’re super excited. Turner Street has been a big part of our community for so long. People want programming at that facility.”

“I can’t tell you how important it was to us that they have a similar mission for the community,” said Al Quartemont, vice chief volunteer officer for the YMCA of Central Louisiana. “Those swimming pools, so many seniors benefit from that, as well as kids learning to swim.”

The parties closed Tuesday on the sale of the facility, which includes two pools - one for swimming and the other for therapeutic water exercises like aerobics - a workout area and a basketball court.

The YMCA of Central Louisiana closed the Turner Street facility in March after it couldn’t raise money to keep it operating and cover needed repairs.

Vanderlick said they were able to cover the purchase price and improvements. She said they will repair the building’s roof, make sure the pools are working, update signage and add some workout equipment.

The new facility will reopen June 1.

“We want to add some life to that building and that side of town,” Vanderlick said.

In addition to Turner Street, the YWCA will be keeping its James Street location open.

Quartemont said the YMCA of Central Louisiana will use the $136,000 sale price to “get our debts paid and clear up some loose ends” before dissolving.

“It’s a win-win for both sides,” he said. “Obviously, we’re disappointed over how it ended for the YMCA. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier with the way it worked out. We have to be thankful to the YWCA.”

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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