Ferrum News

Ferrum College Fitness Center to Expand, Become YMCA.


The facility will undergo a $500,000 expansion, funded by a federal grant, and become affiliated with the YMCA.

Ferrum, Va. (May 23, 2012) –Ferrum College broke ground today for an expansion of the College Fitness Center, which will become affiliated with the Franklin County YMCA, when the expansion is complete in early fall of 2012.

The expansion will be paid for by a $400,000 Healthcare and Other Facilities grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.   The monies are provided to promote community health and wellness.

“Not only is the building expanding – but so is the mission of the facility,” said Ferrum College Senior Vice President for Administration Bobby Thompson.  “We want people in the surrounding community to benefit from the same health and fitness opportunities our students enjoy here at Ferrum College.  This project is timely, given the national concern with fitness and nutrition as it relates to obesity and other health issues.”

Under the new program, which will be under the management of the Franklin County YMCA, area residents will be able to use the facility once they purchase a YMCA membership.  Ferrum College is providing memberships to students, faculty and staff (and dependents) as part of the tuition and employee benefit packages.

Plans call for an expansion of 3,900 square feet.  Fitness equipment and changing areas will be added to the facility, and the current space will be re-configured to maximize usage. It is anticipated that a number of YMCA group exercise classes will also be offered. The building already includes two full-sized gymnasiums, which will occasionally be reserved for intramural sports and campus events such as concerts.

“We have enjoyed tremendous success with our Tri-Area Commission Community Health Center and pharmacy located on campus,” said Ferrum College President Dr. Jennifer L. Braaten.  Braaten pointed out that many of the people using the health center are members of the local community.  “We want to be a resource for the people of Franklin County,” said Braaten.  “Joining forces with the YMCA is the perfect way to enable the community to have access to our facilities.  It will also enhance education by providing great opportunities for our faculty and students in Ferrum’s Health and Human performance curricula to interact with the community and different age groups,” she said.

“The YMCA is so much more than a place to work out,” said Jeanne Martin, president of the Franklin County YMCA board of directors. “We look forward to the opportunity of taking the YMCA’s mission of social responsibility, youth development and healthy living to people in the western portion of Franklin County, who previously were not served by the Y,” she said.

YMCA Executive Director Garry Angle agreed, saying, “The YMCA has long served the people of Franklin County with facilities in Rocky Mount and at Smith Mountain Lake.  We are pleased to offer the benefits of the Y to the western portions of Franklin County.”

Work on the project is slated to begin immediately.  YMCA memberships will be available in the near future. For more information contact Garry Angle at the Franklin County YMCA at (540) 489-9622.

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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges.