July 12, 2016

Work Begins on Next Phase of Collierville YMCA

By Laurie Johnson
– The Daily News –

Although its doors have been open for less than three months, the YMCA fitness and health center in Collierville is ready to expand.

Construction is expected to start in September on an expansion that will almost double the size of the YMCA at Schilling Farms, which opened May 31.

The second phase, which will add 20,000 square feet to the 28,000-square-foot facility, will include a gymnasium, a walking track suspended above the gymnasium, a multi-purpose room and a youth fitness center with a climbing wall.

The project, which is expected to be completed in June, also will include additional parking and family locker rooms.

Since its opening, membership at the Schilling Farms YMCA has mushroomed to 2,100 units-a unit representing anywhere from one person to a family of five or more-which has translated into a membership roster of about 8,100, a number that exceeds the center’s original expectations, Nuber said.

About 80 percent of the fitness center’s memberships are family units. In addition to Collierville, the center is drawing members from other Shelby County suburbs, as well as Fayette and DeSoto counties.

"This facility was very much needed here," Nuber said. "The community has responded very well."

The first phase of the Schilling Farms YMCA health center included a cardiovascular fitness center, an indoor pool, an outdoor water park, an aerobics room, two racquetball courts, locker rooms and a nursery.

"We haven’t even been open a full three months, and our nursery has been averaging over 100 children a day, from parents coming to work out," Nuber said.

Because the health center has been so well received, the second phase is being built about a year earlier than originally planned, Nuber said.

He said it would allow the facility to offer a broader range of family programs.

"The multi-purpose room is really going to be a teen center," Nuber said. "It can be used for a lot of different things, but we need more programs for teens out here."

The multi-purpose room also will allow the YMCA to accommodate more children in its summer day camp.

"When we opened our summer day camp for kids, we had the capacity of about 300 kids. Well, 600 signed up," Nuber said. "If we had had the multi-purpose room, we could have handled a lot more of those children."

The facility is located on seven acres donated to the YMCA system by Harry Smith, owner of Schilling Enterprises. It was the first project under construction in Schilling Farms, a 400-acre multi-use development in Collierville.

Memphis architect Jim Lindy of Lindy & Associates designed the athletic facility. Linkous Construction Company, Inc., is the general contractor for the project.

The cost to build the second phase is estimated at $1.3 million, Nuber said.

Total construction of the Schilling Farms YMCA, including the cost of the land, represents a $6.3 million investment for the YMCA system.

This expansion of the Schilling Farms YMCA will be the last one, Nuber said.

"After this is done, we’ll be out of space," he said. "We will have used almost the entire seven acres."

The YMCA system is continuing to actively expand into new areas, Nuber said.

Construction of a YMCA similar in scale to the Schilling Farms YMCA is expected to start in Millington later this year.

Efforts also are underway to establish fitness centers in Hernando, Miss., and West Memphis, Ark. The YMCA recently opened a Child Care Enrichment Center in Hernando.