Award Winner - May 2011
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The Ambler Area Y

Ambler, Pennsylvania

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Kramer + Marks Architects in Ambler, Pa.

Size: 80,000 square feet, 27 acres

Project Cost: $24 million

Quick Tour:

  • Grand lobby
  • Wellness center with cardio and weights
  • Wellness mezzanine with cardio and exergame equipment
  • 6-lane lap pool
  • 3-lane warm-water lap/therapy pool
  • Family fun pool
  • Kid zone
  • Family active center
  • Y-Zone with Wii and Exerstep, people-powered video games
  • Locker rooms for Men, Boys, Women, Girls, Family/Special Needs
  • Gymnasium
  • 2 multipurpose rooms
  • Conference room
  • Sauna
  • Whirlpool
  • Vending/member's kitchenette
  • Indoor walking/jogging track
  • 2 group exercise studios
  • Group cycling studio
  • Outdoor walking trail
  • 2 outdoor pavilions

Planning began in 2006 to replace a 45-year-old, 35,000-square-foot YMCA building with a new building, to be located less than two miles away. Opened in November 2010, the 80,000-square-foot Ambler Area Y is a dynamic facility serving more than 14,000 members and providing staff and volunteers the ability to expand programs and services without losing the hallmark friendliness of the "old" Y.

The new facility boasts many notable features. Special attention was given to providing a large, two-story lobby and reception area. With its central stone planter and plenty of space, it provides an upscale, warm environment, focused on providing a place for families, adults and seniors to enjoy friends, watch as their children engage in recreational activities or simply relax in the comfort of a familiar place.

The focal piece of the facility are the three indoor pools, including a family fun pool with water spray features and slides; a warm-water pool for walking, aerobics, swim lessons and recreational swimming; and a six-lane lap pool. These pools are surrounded with beautiful laminated timber beams and stone walls.

The 11,000-square-foot wellness center features state-of-the-art exercise equipment with integrated TV and iPod docking stations. There are two lines of selectorized equipment, as well as ample space for free weights and stretching. Two wood-floored exercise rooms provide a space for Pilates, yoga and dance aerobics, and there is also a dedicated group cycling room. The Mezzanine level of the wellness center overlooks the main fitness floor and includes an Exergame interactive gaming center and an open area of fitness equipment, as well as a semi-private area for personal training. The center of the building is circled by a 1/13-mile indoor walking/jogging track.

The YMCA is typically focused on family needs, and the expanded Kid Zone babysitting area, designed to mirror the play centers of licensed childcare, fits this part of the organization's mission. Further serving family needs, a Family Active Center focuses on allowing parents to work out while watching their children play in a kid-friendly, interactive space. This unique area allows families to stay connected while encouraging a healthy lifestyle. The family locker room is designed to allow families or special needs members to change in the privacy of 10 changing stalls, with three private restrooms and one fully handicapped-accessible restroom with a shower stall.

An intergenerational space provides an opportunity for teens and seniors to engage with their peers at designated times of the day, while providing new active gaming opportunities like Wii bowling and Exerstep interactive videogaming.

Rounding out the facility are two multipurpose rooms for classes, meetings, training and birthday parties, as well as a double gymnasium for sports and classes.

Additional phases will further develop the site, including an outdoor pool with waterslides and splash features, a splashpad, a bathhouse with locker rooms, concession stand and more. Further phases will allow for additional program expansion.


A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

General Contractor: J.J. DeLuca Inc.

MEP: McHugh Engineering

Site Engineer: Bohler Engineering

Site Contractor: Lyons & Hohl Site Contractors

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