New Rockaways YMCA Eyes Fall Opening


After hitting a setback when Hurricane Sandy hit, plans to open a new YMCA in the Rockaways are back on track.


Originally scheduled to open in June, it’s the first YMCA in the Rockaways, an area badly hit by the storm.


The facility is 12 feet above sea level and officials say it was already being built to withstand dangerous storms, which helped minimize the damage.


“We were very fortunate, at the time the building was mostly concrete and steel and there wasn’t a lot of damage. We’ve also built the Y to new codes and so we’re up a level. So we had some inundation below but that was about it,” said YMCA of Greater New York President & CEO Jack Lund.


“We’ve added some additional precautions in storm doors and the relocation of some of the equipment,” said YMCA of Greater New York Chief Development Officer Gary Laermer.


The new YMCA will feature a gym, fitness spaces, an outdoor multipurpose field and two pools.


With construction moving forward, Rockaways residents say they look forward to opening day.


“Summers can’t be beat over here. When it comes time for winter, you kind of find yourself looking where should I go this weekend when it’s the winter, but this is going to be where we are going to be this winter so we really can’t wait,” said Rene Santiago, a Rockaways resident.


Another YMCA under construction affected by Sandy is the one in Coney Island.


The facility is expected to be finished right around the same time as the one in the Rockaways this fall.