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Jeff Heuchert, Gazette staff

Jeff Heuchert, Gazette staff

Helping cut the ribbon on the Stratford-Perth YMCA’s new Lifestyle Centre Monday were, from left, members Darlene Van Raay and Pam Herman, volunteer Tom MacArthur and board chair Shawn Bohnert.

YMCA officially opens expanded Lifestyle Centre

Jeff Heuchert, Gazette staff

The ribbon was cut Monday on the Stratford-Perth YMCA’s newly renovated Lifestyle Centre.

In addition to 1,100 square feet of additional space, the upgrades include  27 pieces of modern cardio and weight-lifting equipment.

The improvements come at a cost of approximately $325,000 – part of a larger investment of nearly half a million dollars in the organization’s operations in Stratford and in St. Marys.

The lobby at the Downie Street facility was also recently redone with a new ceiling, lighting, desk, furniture and a fireplace.

YMCA CEO Mimi Price believes it is money well spent.

“We feel this investment is better than (our money) sitting in (the bank),” she said at Monday’s official opening. “It’s one of those things where you put the money out and people see it and they’re happy,”

YMCA board chair Shawn Bohnert said adult memberships have increased since the new equipment was installed in November, something he credits to positive world of mouth from the gym’s regular users.

The new treadmills, with built-in televisions, have been particularly popular with members.

Price said she hopes they give people one less reason to stay home.

“They can work out and be entertained at the same time … with this there’s no excuse to be a couch potato. You can catch up on your news or sports or whatever while  you’re working out.”

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