A new name, a new location and new programs are on the way for the Family Y’s downtown branch.
“Discovery Place, as soon as renovations are done, will be our new home,” said Danny McConnell, president and CEO of the Greater Augusta Family Y, at a news conference on Monday in the lobby of the Unisys building on the Riverwalk.
Last month, Taxslayer announced it had purchased the Family Y on Broad Street, necessitating a move. The area formerly inhabited by Fort Discovery’s science exhibits will become the Riverfront YMCA.
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. called it an amazing day for the city and said that the Family Y was doing something reminiscent of the space’s former occupant.
Fort Discovery at Reynolds and 7th streets was known for science, innovation and education. Unisys is making innovations, he said, and so will the Y.
As far as workout and fitness space, the new location will be comparable to the current one with one major plus – indoor parking, which will be included in membership, according to vice president of marketing Katie Duncan. Some outside parking in an adjacent lot will also be available to members, she said.
The Riverfront YMCA will have more than 10,000 square feet in addition to use of Unisys’ lobby, conference room and the theater on the second floor.
McConnell said administrative offices, now housed at the Broad Street location, will be moved to another space on Claussen Road. There won’t be a pool at the new place, but there at plans for new programs including some involving the Savannah River.
Other plans include expanding its youth outreach and forming new partnerships with the city of Augusta and Heritage Academy on Greene Street.
“This is a big step. We will have a new model for the Y system,” McConnell said.
Renovations will be underway shortly. McConnell anticipates the Y closing its doors on the Broad Street location on Dec. 31, and opening immediately in January in the Riverfront location without a break in service.
He plans to make announcements in the coming months about the new programs that will be offered at the Riverfront YMCA.