When The Cowart Family/Ashford Dunwoody YMCA unveiled its new $4.8 million renovation recently, members were more than a little bit impressed.
“It’s fabulous. It’s state of the art. I feel like I’m at a resort,” said Brookhaven resident Mary Frances Richardson, who’s been a member of the Y since the 1980s.
“I tell you, it’s exciting,” her friend, Dunwoody resident Jack Bell, said during the Jan. 15 reception to showcase the Y’s new facilities.
A new and expanded wellness center was added to the facility, located at 3692 Ashford Dunwoody Road near the Dunwoody city line, in addition to two new group exercise studios, family dressing areas, a new lobby and entrance, and an elevator. The renovation began in March.
“We are thrilled with the investment in this Y,” wellness director Amie McDougal said in a press release. “It is a benefit for members to have this expanded center paired with the support of our wellness coaches.”
Still to come in the next phase of renovations will be a teen center and a new play center for children to use while their parents work out.
Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said he was pleased the city is partnering with the Y on some programs.
“In the city of Brookhaven, if you’re going to summer camp this year it’s a Y summer camp,” he told the packed house gathered for the event. “It’s a huge deal for us. Blackburn Park, Lynwood Park and Briarwood Park are all going to be hosts to Y summer camps.”
Y Board Chairman Jim Redovian said the Cowart Y is available for more partnerships.
“The Y is looking to do whatever we can do to partner with all the five cities that we’re involved with,” he said. “We’re right here in the middle of it; we can do all kinds of things for the cities, just like Mayor Davis said, that are hard for cities to do.”
Davis said that for him, the Y is a family tradition. “My family’s name is on the wall,” he said. “I’ve been coming here since high school. My kids come here and utilize the programs. To have a Y of this caliber in the middle of our city is a great asset. We’re just so happy about this.”
Dunwoody resident Bob Dallas, who sits on the Y board and also serves as Dunwoody Planning Commission chair, said that Y partnerships are beneficial for residents.
“The partnerships that we’re able to provide with the cities – those of us who were advocating for cities – that is what we were hoping for,” he said.
Dallas said the Y serves residents of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Doraville and Chamblee, and members represent each city about equally.
“What a gem for our community,” said Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, who attended the renovation ceremony. “I wish this was in Dunwoody.”
Dallas added, “It’s about as close as you can get to Dunwoody without being in Dunwoody.”
Brookhaven resident Holly Swing said that with their busy schedules, she and her daughter, Hope, haven’t used the facility much in the past, but the renovations make them want to come more.
“It’s so light and airy, it makes you feel like you want to be in here,” she said. “I can’t wait until the improvements have made their way all through the building.”
Her daughter, Hope, said she hopes to take part in the gymnastics and swimming programs. “I like it,” Hope said. “It’s really kid friendly.”