YMCA renovations

The lobby area at the YMCA. Renovations are complete at our YMCA. The place is looking very nice. We've shot some of the work being done but the lobby looks all new. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

Patricia Jackson stood inside the newly renovated lobby of the YMCA of Calhoun County in Anniston Friday and complimented the work done to update the building.

“It’s very appealing,” Jackson said. “Definitely an improvement.”

Jackson, a retired teacher from Saks High School, said she comes to the YMCA in Anniston three times as week to exercise in the SilverSneakers class for older adults.

Shane Ruffin, CEO and president of the YMCA of Calhoun County, said Friday that the last of the new furnishings was delivered Wednesday, marking an end to the three-month renovation project of the Anniston YMCA at 14th Street and Gurnee Avenue.

The approximately $70,000 renovation was paid for through the Charles A. Hamilton Trust, Ruffin said. The trust was established in 1990 by the estate of the Anniston businessman and philanthropist Charles A. Hamilton, who died in 1989.  

The last substantial renovation of the building was in the 1990s, he said.

Renovations of the lobby include sugarcane wall coverings, stone and metal accents throughout and a private, windowed office just off the lobby, which provides a place for members to discuss their personal financial matters with staff out of earshot of others.

The new private office for members and staff has helped members feel more comfortable discussing personal matters, which builds relationships with staff, Ruffin said.

The building’s weight room awaits renovation, Ruffin said. About 60 percent of the weightlifting equipment will be replaced, and the well-worn room will get a fresh coat of paint.

“We had to relocate some wiring,” Ruffin said of the lobby renovation, but he added that the majority of the work went smoothly. He saved the organization money by overseeing contractors himself, and having as much of the work done by staff as possible, he said.

“They improved it quite a bit,” said YMCA member Kenneth Murphy, while working out on an exercise bike Friday morning. Murphy said he comes the Anniston YMCA regularly to take part in an exercise class.  

“It’s long overdue,” Murphy said.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.