As the Club’s first phase of renovations draw to a close, YMCA Club Director, Daniel Lynn, takes stock of what we’ve achieved and looks ahead to the next phase of works, which will vastly improve our members’ experience.
Firstly, I want to thank our members for their continued support which enables us to operate as a charity and provide a wide range of amazing services to various communities.
We also want to make your experience, as members, as positive and as pleasant as possible, so we are investing in the Club to make this happen.
What have we achieved so far?
Last year, we spent £2.2 million pounds fully refurbishing our swimming pool, revamping our lounge on the balcony and upgrading our facilities where we deliver our YMCAfit courses and hold events.
The pool area had a complete re-fit including new air conditioning, lighting and tiling so members now have an overall better experience when using the pool.
Our lounge on the balcony is now far more superior and comfortable than ever before, though we will be making some further changes to the furniture.
Phase 1 included the installation of a new spine of electricity throughout the building and the bulk of the structural works, which will be fully completed within a fortnight in preparation of phase 2 – which will focus on cosmetic improvements around the Club.
Looking forward to a cooler summer
The scaffolding from reception and the stair case has now been removed, revealing some new pipework. This is because we’ve upgraded our air conditioning which will significantly improve all areas of the Club, especially the free weights room and cycle studio which needed a boost.
It’s been a complicated process because we’ve had to carry out these works during the day. We’ve done our best to work around the membership as quickly as possible reducing the impact at peak times. Thanks for bearing with us.
Outside construction work
In an ever evolving urban landscape, there’s always something changing in London. You may have noticed some noise. Our neighbours are currently converting, what was a car park, into an underground hotel. The stripping out and gutting work is now complete and the bulk of heavy construction work is almost finished. They’re now fitting out the rooms.
Our cleaning and facilities teams
The recent building works have obviously placed an extra burden on our fantastic cleaning and facilities staff who we directly employ rather than outsource from external agencies. We endeavour to offer all our employees stability, many of whom have worked for us for many years.
Sometimes things go wrong, so we are reviewing how we manage our repairs including showers and lockers. There will be more regular checks to ensure our facilities are not out of order for long.
New mats on the way
We will be replacing some of the yoga and stretching mats which we know are a bit tired. Small changes over the next few months like these will improve the overall experience for our members.
Tell me more about phase 2
Over the next two years, we will look at the rest of the Club and upgrade its facilities.
In a club this size, there is always room for improvement, so from April to June, we’re going to do some decorating including painting our hand rails and studios, replacing the carpets and generally brightening up the place and making it look fresher.
We will do everything we can to work around our members. Wherever possible, we will do the work out of hours to minimise the impact.
How will the Club look on its 175th birthday?
As the world’s first YMCA, we will be 175 in June this year and we want to celebrate this amazing achievement with our members. We want the Club to look as fresh as possible in time for the celebrations.
We will be holding a number of events to mark the occasion including the creation of an exhibition which will document the history of the YMCA over the last 175 years. This will occupy the front entrance and other areas of the Club so members can learn more about the YMCA’s rich heritage and appreciate what a great organisation they are involved in.
Communicating future changes in the Club
Going forward, I will give you regular updates in the newsletter about any works happening in the Club so members are made aware in advance. This will also be communicated on the poster board which is located on Level -3 by the green sofa.
We are listening to you and I’m very grateful to all our members who have been really patient throughout these works, which we’ve had to do. Now the bulk of this work has been done, we will now focus on the overall feel of the Club and the wide range of services that we offer.
Thanks for your patience,
YMCA Club Director