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Pooler Magazine

A Modern Wellness Center: Grand Re-Opening of West Chatham YMCA

A Modern Wellness Center:
Grand Re-Opening of West Chatham YMCA


The YMCA of Coastal Georgia proudly reopened the West Chatham YMCA in Pooler, Ga., after undergoing major renovations specifically redesigned to meet the changing fitness and social interaction practices of today. The modern wellness center includes state-of-the-art equipment, innovative programming and a community-centered atmosphere.

Savannah Ghost Pirates mascot, Davy, joined with YMCA of Coastal Georgia leadership and members of the construction and design teams to welcome the public to “Treasure the Y” at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The continuation of the reinvestment project will move to the Islands Family YMCA and then on to the Habersham YMCA.

“From fitness classes to youth programs, the West Chatham YMCA is a forward-thinking endeavor that is dedicated to serving the community,” said Joel Smoker, YMCA of Coastal Georgia CEO. “Whether you are looking to stay fit or get involved with a variety of activities, the West Chatham YMCA has something for everyone. We are so pleased with the results and are happy to welcome the community to this reenvisioned branch.”

Felder & Associates, a distinguished and award-winning architecture firm in Savannah specializing in historic preservation, commercial and high-end residential building projects, is the architect on the multi-faceted project. West Construction, a commercial general contracting company based in Savannah, Ga., is managing the construction.

“Fitness centers that were constructed during the 1990s were designed to cater to the needs and demands of that era. However, with the evolution of trends and clientele, the requirements for fitness centers have also evolved,” said Brian Felder, Founder and Principal Architect of Felder & Associates. “The latest trends and newer customer base require open floor plan spaces that provide ample room for movement, as opposed to just standing in one place and lifting weights. This means that modern fitness centers need to have dynamic spaces that can accommodate different types of programs and activities.”

Many spaces in the West Chatham YMCA branch were redesigned for more social interaction and functional fitness. Most surfaces were refreshed with updated colors and textures. Additionally, the ceiling was raised to further increase the sense of space. The open floor plan adds flexibility with availability for repurposing it in the future as fitness trends continue to evolve over the next decade.

“The YMCA has long been a pillar of our community, and the renovated West Chatham location is no exception. With the growth of the Pooler area, this state-of-the-art facility is designed to meet the needs of every member,” said Matt West, Owner of West Construction Company.

“As a dedicated member of the YMCA for the past 31 years, visiting three to four times a week, you could say I’ve been studying this project for a while,” Felder continued. “While staying active and healthy has always been a primary focus, the YMCA has evolved to incorporate new spaces that foster social connections and updated interior design that enhances the overall experience. Personally, I am thrilled with the changes as a member, but as a professional, I must express my satisfaction with the outcome. The YMCA's transformation has been a long time coming, and I couldn't be more pleased with the final product.”