ymca ribbon cutting

Oahe Family YMCA CEO Aaron Fabel cuts the ribbon officially opening the new addition for public use — despite the addition being operational for two months as part of what Fabel called a “soft open.” The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in the new aerobics studio, a highlight of the addition.

The Oahe Family YMCA held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 19, to commemorate the opening of a new addition on the facility. The addition included a new child-watch room for parents and a new multipurpose aerobics studio that can be used in a variety of ways, including yoga and physical therapy. An old nursery on the bottom floor has also been converted into a new weight training room.

“Our members have been steadily growing,” Aaron Fabel, CEO of Oahe Family YMCA, said. “So the demand for our services is growing too.”

Fabel said that the groundbreaking for the new addition took place in July of 2018, with construction beginning in the middle of August. The addition was completed earlier this Spring, and for two months Oahe Family has been doing what Fabel called a “soft open.”

“We’ve been doing some classes in [the aerobics studio]; a variety of yoga classes,” he said.

The construction of the new addition was financed entirely by the YMCA, for a price tag of about $800,000, Fabel said. Scull Construction Service, a construction firm out of Rapid City, was the construction manager for the project, but much of the actual work was done with local labor.

“We did as much with local construction as we could,” Fabel said.

Oahe Family has also partnered with Avera Health to use the new addition most effectively.

“We’re sharing this space here for physical therapy services,” Kayla Burns, Avera Occupational Therapist and St. Mary’s Hospital Director of Therapy Services, said in reference to the aerobics studio. Therapists from Avera will provide therapy for running injuries, back pain, balance problems, joint pain, and other issues there.

Burns also said the decision to partner with the YMCA was made in the Fall of 2018. In effect, “partner with” means that Avera is leasing the space from the YMCA, Burns said. Fabel said the Avera physical therapy sessions will operate in the aerobics studio three days a week.

All very good, but why was June 19 chose for the ribbon cutting ceremony, if the addition has already seen use for two months?

Fabel said it largely came down to scheduling issues.

“A lot of it was just logistics with scheduling... Everyone is busy,” he said.

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