The Dover YMCA recently added a gymnasium, a studio and expanded its weight room. YMCA staff share how the expansion is being used.

The Issue

What used to be known as the Central Delaware YMCA is now Dover YMCA, it's also quite a bit bigger than it used to be. In the past year, the facility added both a gymnasium and a fitness studio and expanded its fitness center by one-third. The movement and fitness components of the expansion opened in October and the new gymnasium opened in December.

What's different?

Everything from hours, to classes, to events have been added to the Dover YMCA, along with its extra square footage. The facility is now opens at 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

The YMCA is also putting its new gymnasium to good use. The Dover Y now offers indoor team sports for both adults and youth. Youth basketball, volley ball and soccer are all offered. For the adults, volleyball and a childhood favorite dodge ball are now available, because sometimes you just need to release a little aggression, said Lori Tovcimak-Speed, wellness and membership director for the Dover YMCA.

"Since we added the expansion, there has been a noticeable increase in traffic," Tovcimak-Speed said. "We have new members; we have members returning to us. We've been very busy."

Since its expansion, the facility has also been able to better accommodate its members and work out some of its previous scheduling limitations.

"Now that we have a movement studio and a fitness studio, we can offer more group fitness classes," said Speed. "We can offer consecutive classes as well now."

With everything that's going on around the Y, it takes a lot of coordination to keep things running smoothly, The new program schedule went into effect on Jan. 2, but no system is perfect.

"There is frequently friction because different groups want to use the same space at the same time, but that's why we have a schedule," said the Dover YMCA's Executive Director Frederick Gould.

According to Gould, groups that frequently use the Y were figured into the planning of the expansion. For instance, families and the elderly were in mind when developing the expansion.

"We've been seeing more families come here together," Speed said. "So we've been able to offer more family classes and family events."

The YMCA also offers a lot of activities for seniors such as Tai Chi, "Fit Over Fifty" and water yoga.

The Y caters to families by offering babysitting services for younger children, a youth wellness center and children's programs for older children and all of the programs for adults.

"We are trying to serve families, they're our primary audience," said Gould. "They're why we expanded."