AMHERST – The Cumberland YMCA is continuing to make improvements.
The downtown Amherst recreational facility is set to reopen its gymnasium following a multi-week project that saw the gym’s rubberized floor replaced with a hardwood surface.
“When we installed the floor in 2011 as part of the renovation project the rubberized floor essentially failed,” YMCA CEO Trina Clarke said. “Because the Y is built on a marshy area, the glue under the rubber never dried properly. It was glued to the concrete pad and emulsified.”
Clarke said cracks in the rubber flooring were appearing and glue was coming up through the cracks. Different strategies were tried to repair the glue, but nothing worked. While different solutions were considered, Clarke said, the best decision it the end was to replace the floor.
“We decided to go with this setup because it is an inter-locking system underneath and it’s springy and very good on the joints for the people who use the gym,” she said. “The best thing is it’s durable. If we keep up annual maintenance it should last at least 25 years.”
Work began in mid-December with management staff tearing up the rubberized floor to leave bare concrete. Work crews began installation of the new floor through the holidays and finished a week ago.
Since then, the floor has been curing and is expected to be ready for use as early as Sunday.
The gym is used extensively including for pickle ball, open recreational sessions and fitness classes.
Clarke said community partnerships, such as that with the Municipality of Cumberland, are key to the facility’s success.
“The YMCA’s partnerships have been a critical factor in our sustainability over the last nine years,” she said. “The new gym floor is the most recent example of how important our partners are to our success. Without the capital funding provided by the Municipality of Cumberland over the last four years we would not have had the ability to respond so quickly to the replacement of our gym floor when the existing floor failed.”
YMCA board chairman Charles Seymour said the Y would not be where it is today without its partners.
“Knowing that we have the ability to fix a problem when it happens gives our board peace of mind,” he said.
Cumberland County Warden Allison Gillis said the municipality is proud of the partnership it has developed with the YMCA over the last decade.
“In that time, the Municipality of Cumberland has provided operations funding in the amount of $900,000 and capital funding in the amount of $100,000,” Gillis said. “Our residents now see the benefit of the capital funding as it enables the Cumberland YMCA to effect major repairs, such as the replacement of the gym floor.”