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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)


The Moneta branch of the Bedford Area Family YMCA closed April 30. The following day the facility reopened as Moneta Athletic Club.

Former branch members and staff came together soon after the closing was announced in March to form the new facility. A board was formed later that month and work began to find ways to keep the community gym going.

Terri Shea, a former member of the Moneta YMCA, is one of seven members who serve on the Moneta Athletic Club's advisory board. She said the board has met multiple times over the past few weeks to prepare for the transfer into a new facility.

The Bedford Area Family YMCA announced the closing of the Moneta branch earlier this year, citing that it was no longer feasible to continue operations on a cost-effective basis. A letter sent to members March 5 stated that 500 members were needed to properly maintain and support the branch. It only had 230 members at the time.

The Moneta Athletic Club was formed with the help of local investors. Shea said the club is currently working to obtain nonprofit status, which could take several weeks.

"We are going to be standing alongside each other in this endeavor," Shea said.

The Moneta Athletic Club will spend its first week transitioning into a new facility. New equipment arrived and was set up for members May 1. While the club was unable to keep the equipment, it did maintain the YMCA staff.

"We haven't lost a single one of our staff or instructors," Shea said.

Shea said that membership fees will be moderately reduced from what they were before.

During an annual potluck April 20, the advisory board informed members of the plans for the new club. Shea said she was surprised to see how excited several of the members were to hear the news. "They were absolutely thrilled," she said.

The club will host a grand opening later this year, Shea said. By then, it could also include a new addition at Downtown Moneta as it reopens the daycare facility that will also provide space for group exercise classes such as gymnastics, aerobics and Zumba.

Shea said the additional classes and daycare will likely take a few months because of the necessary work needed to update the building. The expansion is expected to be complete by fall, she said.

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May 2, 2018


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