Walnut Hill: West Philadelphia YMCA Gets a Makeover


The West Philadelphia YMCA, located at 5120 Chestnut St., has made some changes to its facilities in the past couple of weeks. These changes are important in order to keep the community interested.

The exterior of the West Philadelphia YMCA got a facelift.

“For the past three years we have been changing different areas of our facilities, making it more appealing to our members as well as the community,” Group Vice President Bertram Lawson said.

More recently, the YMCA has been working on several internal renovations including restoration for basketball courts, two new swimming pools, a new spa area and more importantly the expansion of the child care areas. This new area, specifically, can accommodate up to 40 children compared to only the 10 that it used to be able to hold.

“My favorite renovation would be the child watch area. It is essential to the working or stay at home mother, or father. They need that two-hour breather to deescalate from their day,” Lawson said.

Lawson isn’t the only one excited about the recent changes to the child care facilities. Dance instructor Shaquen Harris said she looks forward to seeing how this will benefit the children.

The welcome desk at the YMCA was moved from one location to another. It also increased in size for the satisfaction of the members.

“They have a lot of activities to do things about themselves, or explore themselves to bigger and better things. I have seen a bigger turnout of new children and can see that the returning children are excited about our new area,” Harris said.

All of the changes the West Philadelphia YMCA have made recently doesn’t come without cost. They look to different donors to provide the money needed to complete these plans.

“Some of the costs come from the YMCA, we do have an investment program. We also look into receiving donations from vendors, members of the Y and corporations and from the state as well,” Lawson said.

The West Philadelphia YMCA plans to continue to improve its facilities and enhance the members’ experience. Next on the agenda is revamping the men’s and women’s locker rooms by adding new lockers, painting and polishing starting next year. A long term goal is to expand the wellness center.

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