SALISBURY, Md. – There’s a new facility now open at the Richard A. Henson YMCA in Salisbury.
The community gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Donnie Williams Aquatic Center, the home to the YMCA’s warm water and salt water pool.
“Living on the Eastern Shore, we’re surrounded by water so this just gives us a great resource to be able to expand that work,” Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of the Chesapeake said.
The $3 million project has been in the works for years and the YMCA broke ground on the project over a year ago. The aquatics director says Thursday’s opening was well worth the wait.
“It’s much like having a new baby. I was very nervous,” Jen Seip, aquatics director, said. “There’s a lot of preparation that went into it but just like having a new baby, once it’s open and here, you’re excited. You love seeing the faces of the kids in the pool.”
90-year-old YMCA member Betty Lou Davis uses the pool three days a week, and she said having this new pool with warm water is a great addition.
“The older you get, the colder you get,” Davis said. “The most difficult part is getting in each time into the cold water.”
The center is also a means of bringing new opportunities to a growing community.
“There just wasn’t a warm water pool or an opportunity for older adults or our youth to be be engaged in a pool that was more conducive to exercise and learning to swim,” Gill said.
The YMCA’s next project is to build an outdoor pool next to the Donnie Williams Aquatic Center. The aquatics center officially opens Friday.