FAIRLESS HILLS ACCELERATED RENOVATION
Letter to Members, Membership Selection and Frequently Asked Questions
Please scroll down to make your membership selection.
A Letter to Members:
You may have received my June 10 email when I shared some important news about our Fairless Hills branch and I spoke with many of you on our first Zoom call, or perhaps you saw the article in the Bucks County Courier Times. This letter provides some additional information about your membership. Many of you have heard me talk about growing up in our Fairless Hills branch, from attending preschool to my first job as a lifeguard. I have fond memories of the facility, but more importantly the people and the community are near and dear to me. That is why I am pleased to share that our YMCA boards have approved the recommendation of Y leadership to move ahead with the renovation of our Fairless Hills facility and at an accelerated pace.
The Fairless Hills facility is the oldest of our five branches, and building additions over the years have created a labyrinth of hallways and small spaces. Allowing for appropriate social distancing in the post-pandemic climate would be near-impossible. This reality, combined with our successful fundraising and extensive learning through COVID-19, prompted our move to not reopen the facility to members and to instead fast-track the renovations. This enables us to complete the renovation in approximately 12 months instead of the expected 18-24 months.
Preparations will take place throughout the summer and we anticipate construction beginning in early September 2020. We look forward to opening a beautifully renovated, more spacious facility for our members and the community in the fall of 2021.
To serve our working families, we opened our Fairless Hills branch on June 15 for child care and summer camp, and will continue to serve you as we have since our closure on March 13, through our online library and virtual group exercise classes. Through the summer, we will expand our wellness and recreational options in a “Y Beyond Walls” model, offering additional programs at indoor and outdoor locations in the community, but not in the facility.
As a valued YMCA of Bucks County member, we hope you will continue as a Champion Member and become an enduring part of the Fairless Hills branch renovation. Information about the unique benefits of being a Champion Member can be found below.
To learn more about our renovation project and the programs and services available to you as part of our “Y Beyond Walls”, please see below for our "Frequently Asked Questions."
I also invite you to join me on a Zoom call on Tuesday, June 30 at 7 PM. I will share additional information about the renovation and answer your questions.
Join the Zoom meeting by copying this link into your web browser:
Or call 646.558.8656
Meeting ID: 983 6153 9975
I look forward to our time together and am very excited to fast track renovations and ultimately give the Fairless Hills community the YMCA they deserve and have supported. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to care for your health through Y class participation.
Bucks County Strong,
MEMBER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE FAIRLESS HILLS BRANCH?
Why is the Y accelerating the Fairless Hills renovation?
The Fairless Hills facility is the oldest of our five branches and building additions over the years have created a labyrinth of hallways and small spaces. Allowing for appropriate social distancing in the post-pandemic climate would be near-impossible. This prompted our move to not reopen the facility to members in order to fast-track the renovations, moving the project from four phases to one, completing the renovation in 12 months instead of the expected 18-24 months. We look forward to opening a beautifully renovated, more spacious facility for our members and the community in the fall of 2021.
Summer 2020, we will offer child care and camp as we understand this is a great need for working families. Effective September, 2020, for safety best practices, we will no longer offer programs and services at the Fairless Hills branch instead operating as a "Y Beyond Walls" hosting Y programs and services virtually, and throughout various locations within a close radius to the branch.
It is our intention to move the Fairless Hills children enrolled in child care to our Morrisville location, pending DHS approval and licensing best practices.
What is a “Y Beyond Walls”?
Operating as a "Y Beyond Walls" means our programs and services are no longer restricted to the physical branch, and instead you can find your Y - everywhere! Our impact will extend beyond the branch and throughout the community to local facilities such as schools, firehouses, senior centers, and more. We will also continue to provide group exercise and extended programs and services, virtually, which allows us to reach right into your homes!
Where can I continue to take Y programming?
Summer 2020, we will be offering group exercise programs in outside spaces and virtually, a format which continues to be very successful during our forced closure. In the fall, members can expect the continuation of virtual programs and live classes at select locations within the area.
Aquatics and community swim programs will continue at Pennsbury High School, where the Y was already providing swim lessons before the closure, when the school district reopens their buildings. Programs for seniors and individuals served by our pathways will receive ongoing support and continuity to those important programs.
As a Y member, you are also able to take classes and utilize facilities at any of our other branches which include Warminster, Doylestown, Quakertown and Newtown. Our Newtown branch may be delayed in reopening because it is located within Chandler Hall. We will confirm a reopening date as soon as we are able. The Warminster branch, which is a short drive down Street Road, provides a full fitness center and great exercise classes for all members.
What about the fitness center?
Our Fairless Hills branch will not open for membership services such as the fitness center, pool, gymnasium, etc. Summer 2020, the branch will only open its doors to camp and child care as to best serve working families. We hope you will consider our Newtown, Warminster or any YMCA of Bucks County branch for strength training, and engage in virtual and live group exercise classes. And, watch for additional programming to become available in locations throughout the community.
What about the pool, swimming laps or taking aquatic group exercise classes?
With the new accelerated construction schedule, the pool at Fairless Hills will be closed during this same 12-month period. It will be open briefly to serve summer camp and child care.
We encourage members to take advantage of reciprocity within our own association, the nearby pools at our Newtown branch and at Pennsbury High School will be available to our members for lessons and open swim time, once they reopen after the mandated closure. Through the summer months, members are welcome to our Holland Outdoor Center to enjoy the grounds, outdoor pool and play equipment. A schedule for evenings and weekends will be released soon.
Who made this decision?
On May 27, 2020 our association-wide board of directors voted to close the branch and accelerate the construction schedule. This was after the local, Lower Bucks regional advisory board approved the same motion during its meeting days before.
What will happen to staff at the branch?
As our Y staff are also valued members, we will welcome those who qualify to continue their employment with us as needed for our “Y Beyond Walls.” Further opportunities also rest at any of our four other branches or three additional youth education centers. Our Human Resources department will continue the same demonstrated care and compassion as they are now during our current forced closure, and provide additional support services in securing unemployment navigation and/or employment with another organization.
Where can I find out more? How can I talk to someone about this?
Join us for a Zoom call on Tuesday, June 30 at 7 PM. We invite you to join us:
Meeting ID: 983 6153 9975
MEMBERSHIP DURING THE RENOVATION
Will there be a change in my membership?
Yes, we value your membership and are working to provide two options designed for you to continue your membership and remain a part of the Y family. All members will receive an email on or before June 22 pending Governor Wolf moving Bucks County to the green phase of his reopening plan, asking how you would like to handle your membership. These are also explained below.
As a valued YMCA of Bucks County member, we hope you will continue as a Champion Member and become an enduring part of the Fairless Hills branch renovation.
By choosing this option, a portion of your membership fee will be a charitable donation benefiting our building renovation. Your investment in our project will be celebrated in a variety of ways.
- Receive special recognition as a CHAMPION by adding your family or business name to a beautiful community tile mosaic on our donor recognition wall thanking all community members that made the Fairless Hills renovation possible.
- Enjoy all the virtual and community-based programs and classes provided through our “Y Beyond Walls.”
- Be part of a special group of “Champion” members who will receive an “insider view” of the project by receiving notifications and updates, VIP invitations to events and tours of construction
- Receive unlimited guest privileges to bring your friends and extended family when we open the new facility so that you can share the excitement
- Help us make decisions related to finishings and equipment as we will seek your input
Option 2. Y Beyond Walls Membership
By choosing this option, you’ll receive all the benefits of membership continuing during the building closure, including:
- Access to all of our branches throughout Bucks County including Doylestown, Newtown, Quakertown and Warminster.
- Our community-based and virtual group exercise classes will continue and allow you to workout with your favorite instructors from wherever you want!
- Pools in both Pennsbury High School and at our Holland Outdoor Center providing recreational swim and lessons for our members.
This option allows you to continue your membership at a lower price:
Individual = $21
Plus for two or more individuals = $26
What if I want to freeze my membership and monthly draft until you reopen the branch?
We hope you will consider staying with us; we will be offering an incredible virtual platform, as well as multiple locations to serve your health and well-being needs. If you choose to freeze, you can make that selection on the form above.
Please understand that while on freeze, you will not receive member rates on programs including camp and will not have access to online services, like our new upcoming virtual and online group exercise programs.
MORE ABOUT THE RENOVATIONS
When will renovations in Fairless Hills begin?
Due to the generous support of our community, we have raised enough funds to begin our construction project in Fairless Hills and we expect to break ground in September 2020 and anticipate renovations to take approximately 12 months. When an exact timeline is available, details will be published on our website.
What does the renovation involve?
This renovation will be a total overhaul of the current facility with an entirely new look and feel. Renovations call for re-configuring the space within the building to gain additional usable square footage, while at the same time decreasing our building footprint to create additional and much needed parking. Recapturing unused space will enable us to provide an expanded fitness center, universal locker room, and additional program space. Gymnasium and pool will be painted and refreshed with an observation area added to the aquatics center. The entire interior and exterior of the branch will undergo a face lift in the renovation to include sleek, modern features on the exterior and interior spaces. The building will be completely ADA accessible.
What will the renovation involve in the fitness center?
Current plans include an expanded fitness center, including a second floor space. This added space will provide additional cardio equipment and free weight space. All of this additional space will accommodate dozens of new, state-of-the-art machines, new dedicated stretching and training areas as well as dedicated space for the Y’s new partnership with NovaCare Rehabilitation.
Plans also include the addition of an expanded spin studio and additional program space.
What will the renovation involve in the Fairless Hills pool?
During the renovation, the Fairless Hills branch pool will receive a fresh, bright look including tile improvements, painting, lighting and more! A new co-ed sauna will be added to the pool deck area and a new chair lift will also be installed. A pool observation area will also be added so parents and grandparents have a place to watch children during swim lessons.
Will more parking be added?
Yes. We consulted with an architect experienced in YMCA construction to rework our interior space to gain additional usable square footage, while at the same time decreasing our building footprint to create additional and much needed parking. We anticipate adding approximately 31 spaces to our existing lot.
What are universal locker rooms? Current plans include brand new adult male and female locker rooms, complete with all new fixtures for showers and bathrooms, as well as private changing stations and lockers. Both spaces will be ADA compliant and accessible. Our current male/female family locker rooms will be renovated to become one, universal locker room. Universal locker rooms can be used by everyone and accommodate special needs with these individual rooms.
Will everything be ADA compliant and accessible?
Yes, all areas of our Y will be ADA compliant and accessible to all.
How will renovations impact local traffic and the surrounding residences?
Every consideration will be made to minimize disruption to the surrounding homes and local community.
How can I stay informed about the renovations as plans progress?
As our plans develop further and we have more information to share, we will post this information to our website. We will also alert members via our member e-blast and via social media.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
What is the “For A Better Us” Campaign?
The “For A Better Us” Campaign represents a significant fundraising effort to raise the needed dollars in our community to fund not only this renovation project but also our financial assistance and community benefit programs. We are committed to ensuring the needed resources are in place to enable the Y to provide the very best in programs and facilities for all. For more information on giving, please contact the Development Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All of our members will be invited to participate in the campaign in several exciting ways during the upcoming year.
How can I support the facility project and campaign today?
Thank you! It is due to the generosity of our members and community that we have had successful fundraising to date and are in a position to advance this project. We are relying on continued fundraising to complete this exciting expansion in the new accelerated timetable. You can support our campaign in a few ways: 1) We hope you will “Be a Champion” and continue your membership. A portion of your membership fee will go toward the building renovation, 2) You can volunteer by joining a committee that is helping us fundraise for the renovation, and 3) You can also make an outright donation or pledge to the project. Visit the website at ymcabucks.org/donate for information on how to give or contact Angela Jacobsen, Regional Director of Development, at email@example.com.