For the first time, the Callaway County YMCA will open a second YMCA location in Fulton.
The new facility will be on the campus of Fulton State Hospital.
Patty Miller, executive director of the Callaway County YMCA, said the new 6,000-square-foot YMCA annex will be located in a former cafeteria building behind the main administration building at Fulton State Hospital, 600 E. 5th St.
Unlike the main YMCA facility at 1715 Wood St., the annex at Fulton State Hospital will be open 24 hours a day.
Miller said the new facility will be open to all YMCA members, including those who work at Fulton State Hospital.
The facility will open after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Nov. 19 at the new second YMCA facility.
Miller said the new YMCA annex is in partnership with the Fulton State Hospital.
"We will provide aerobics and fitness classes as well as personal trainers. The facility includes a fitness center and an aerobics room, showers and lockers. The former dining hall has been converted to a fitness center and aerobics studio," Miller said.
Miller said the 24-hour facility was needed because there are many employees who work on night shifts. "Obesity continues to rise in our state and in Callaway County. This provides a place were people can work on improving their health through exercise. By being open 24-hours a day we will be able to serve more people," Miller said.
"It's not just for state hospital employees, there are also numerous other employees who work night shifts both in government agencies and private businesses," Miller said.
Miller said the main facility at 1715 Wood St. cannot be kept open 24 hours a day because of the cost of extra security. "One of the reasons we wanted to open another facility is to help ease the overcrowding of the main YMCA. Our fitness center here is absolutely running at the maximum level. Opening the second facility will allow us to meet two of our major needs - more space and longer hours," Miller said.
Signs informing the public about the new YMCA fitness facility are located around the administration building and there is a sign on the YMCA fitness center.
Miller said the partnership arrangement with Fulton State Hospital involves the hospital offering the site and the YMCA is targeting hospital employees for YMCA memberships. "We have a strong history of partnering with Fulton State Hospital on other efforts. The new facility will allow us to attract more YMCA members from Fulton State Hospital employees and expand our services to all YMCA members throughout the city," Miller said.
Miller said a discounted membership fee will be offered to Fulton State Hospital employees.
Miller said night shift Dollar General and Missouri Department of Corrections employees also are expected to make use of the new facility.
Miller said people joining the YMCA through a full membership have a variety of membership options open to them, including single adult, full family and seniors.
A scholarship program is offered to low income families. "If people are low income or limited income we encourage them to apply for our scholarship program. The scholarship program is supported by fund-raising efforts by the YMCA. We have an annual auction every year and we have many generous donors to make it possible for low income children who want to be in sports programs or mentoring programs or just access to the YMCA facility," Miller said.