Anticipation Builds for Fitness Center Expansion

Big changes are coming. Thanks to your support of the Capital Campaign, in 2013 the JCC will add 16,000 square feet of space—much of which will support recreation and wellness including a new gymnasium, the J-Zone (youth-specific fun and fitness area), and room for more group exercise classes and programming for all ages.

Details are still being finalized, but there is already a lot to be excited about. The Diamond Family Fitness Center will more than double—growing from 6,600 to 14,200 square feet of space. This will open up the existing fitness area, giving members more room to stretch and move freely, and create room for new machines and equipment. Sports and Wellness Director Jeanna Brownlee said, “This addition will enable our members to take part in activities we’ve been unable to offer before. It is just so exciting for me because it’s the space we need to be able to offer so much more that will appeal to the entire community, no matter the age.”

Among the most significant improvements coming to the fitness center will be a larger cardio and weight area room for more group exercise programs, like TRX, small-group personal training, and functional fitness classes. Jeanna’s Sports and Wellness team is also planning on more dynamic, bootcamp-style classes, mind/body classes, kickboxing and cardio dance classes. A new mind/body studio designed for yoga, pilates, and Tai Chi classes, and a functional training area will also be part of the expansion.

The new functional training area will create more space for personal training, a program that is growing in popularity with members. Fitness Director Brian Saunders said, “The expansion means improved services for our members. They can look forward to more dynamic, functional space that will allow them to move more effectively. I am most excited about the coming functional training area where my experienced staff can give members more personalized workout sessions.”

Beth McCullough, Fitness Program Director, says more classes and opportunities for community wellness will abound with this new addition. “We will have space so that more members can participate. What I’m actually most excited about is being able to have a larger space that is better suited to our needs. We also hope to offer more new and exciting classes.”

Children, youth, and teens will especially benefit from all the coming changes. Many of them are already talking about the new J-Zone—a safe, fun place where they can play with their friends that will feature innovative, fitness-themed programming, like exergaming, along with a new lounge area. The existing babysitting room will be enlarged and opened up by the creation of a double-doorway into what is to become the Toddler Fit area.

The new gymnasium—complete with batting cages—will create more space to improve and expand upon the current youth sports offerings, classes, recreation opportunities, and basketball leagues. Jeanna said, “The gymnasium expansion will help us serve the needs of our growing youth recreation and travel basketball programs. Currently, we have around 175 kids in the program, and the extra space will help us offer more practice and game times, and even host youth and adult basketball tournaments.”

Jeanna talked about some of the exciting new things coming to the JCC. “With the indoor batting cages, members can get ready for baseball or softball in the off-season.” The JCC will also have space for more diversified programming, including indoor lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and field hockey. Golf lessons, baseball and softball lessons, and hitting leagues will also be offered. Families can come and enjoy more time in the larger gymnasium or plan community events for the space.

Fortunately, all this expansion and construction won’t impact members’ ability to enjoy all the tremendous resources the fitness center and gym already provide. Construction will be organized so that if one area is being worked on, programming is temporarily moved into a different space. Communications will be posted about any minor rearrangements.

Jeanna and her entire team of fitness and sports experts would like to thank everyone who contributed to the campaign. “We truly believe that this new expansion will help put our JCC on the map as a top community center in Columbus. This will benefit all of us and offer so much more to the community. We look forward to working together to make this expansion a success,” said Jeanna.

We’re almost ready to break ground, but we need your help. The doubling of our space is only made possible by the generous matching gift. Every dollar counts double. Make your match now.