FAIRLESS HILLS >> YMCA of Bucks County announces it is accelerating the schedule for the planned renovation of its Fairless Hills branch.

At late May meetings, YMCA boards approved the recommendation of Y leadership to embrace the learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic and build off its successful fundraising to date, and move ahead with the renovation of the Fairless Hills facility.

Additionally, an accelerated timeline will be implemented to move the renovation project from four phases to one, completing the renovation in 12 months instead of the expected 18-24 months. Construction preparations will take place throughout the summer with an anticipated groundbreaking and project start date in early September.

“The Fairless Hills facility is the oldest of our five branches, and building additions over the years have created a labyrinth of hallways and small spaces,” commented Zane Moore, president/CEO of YMCA of Bucks County. “Allowing for appropriate social distancing in the post-pandemic climate would be near-impossible. This prompted our move to not reopen the facility to members in order to fast-track the renovations. We look forward to opening a beautifully renovated, more spacious facility for our members and the community in the fall of 2021.”

Under the yellow phase of Governor Wolf’s reopening plan, the building will reopen on Monday, June 15, 2020 only for child care and summer camp. When Governor Wolf moves Bucks County to the green phase of his reopening plan, allowing recreational and community centers like the Y to reopen, the Fairless Hills branch will continue to host summer camp and child care while serving Y members through a "Y Beyond Walls" model.

The “Y Beyond Walls” will provide some of the Y’s most popular programs and services at other locations throughout Lower Bucks County. In addition to live classes at local indoor and outdoor facilities, group exercise programs will continue to be hosted online, a format that has been very popular with members during the mandated closure due to COVID-19. Aquatics and community swim programs will continue at Pennsbury High School, when the school district reopens their buildings.

Additionally, the Y will continue with its Pathway programs aimed at addressing health risks and supporting members of the community through physical activity and small group support. Pathway programs are donor funded and provided free to participants. They include THRIVE for those recovering from cancer, Healthy Lifestyles diabetes prevention, Empower U for teenage girls, Living Active for seniors, Back to You for those recovering from substance abuse disorder, and the Veterans Wellness program.

Plans for the Fairless Hills branch renovation include a total overhaul of the current facility giving it a new, modern look. Space will be reconfigured within the building to gain additional usable square footage, while at the same time decreasing the building footprint to create additional and much needed parking. This additional space will allow for the expansion of the fitness center and the addition of a universal locker room and program space.

In October, 2018, YMCA of Bucks County launched its “For A Better Us” Campaign to raise the needed dollars to fund this full renovation of the Fairless Hills branch and an expansion of its Doylestown branch, as well as to support its financial assistance program and pathway programs that benefit individuals with disabilities, diabetes, cancer survivors and veterans. Y members and the community are invited to help ensure needed resources are in place to support these projects and programs. For more information on giving, please contact Debbie Sontupe at dsontupe@ymcabucks.org.

YMCA of Bucks County is a charitable, nonprofit organization committed to strengthening communities through membership and programs that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility for all. Annually, the Y serves nearly 60,600 members and participants at its five member branches, six youth education centers, and five camp locations across Bucks County. YMCA of Bucks County provides $5 million of community impact annually in the form of financial assistance to individuals and families in need and free programming for veterans, cancer survivors, older adults and more. To learn more visit ymcabucks.org.

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