YMCA aerial

The Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA in Lecanto announced a $1 million expansion for this year. The project is scheduled to be completed this fall

The Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA announced plans for a $1 million expansion project to begin this spring, which will add 4,800 square feet to the Lecanto facility.

The addition will be the second in two years. In 2018, the YMCA embarked on a $375,000 expansion project that added 1,600 square feet to the YMCA on West County Road 486.

The new addition is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020, said Joanna Castle, the YMCA’s district vice president. Work will start this spring.

The addition is “what we need to do to serve the county’s needs,” Castle told the Chronicle.

“We are in need of more space to (implement) our programs,” she said, “because right now we’re utilizing all the space we have.”

The new space will include two new multi-purpose rooms and storage areas with a focus on:

  • Providing more youth and teen programs.
  • Providing space for group exercise.
  • Providing more space for active, older adult programs.

Castle plans to use the space to allow for youth team leadership programs, youth and government programs, a quiet place for student members to do homework and receive homework help, school enrichment programs and pre-school programs.

Castle said there’s also a growing need for additional space for seniors to meet and for adult-oriented programs that create “opportunities for (senior citizen members) to engage other older adults.”

“It gets them out of their homes so they can build relationships and a good quality of life,” she said.

Some of the YMCA’s new programs and programs geared toward senior citizens included Live Strong, which focuses on cancer survivors maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising, and Peddling for Parkinson’s disease, an eight-week stationary bicycle program for Parkinson’s patients.

The goal with these programs, and the expansion that will allow for them, is to eliminate barriers and draw in as many potential members as possible.   

Castle said that a fundraiser for the expansion will not be necessary and that the YMCA will use its own funds for design and construction.

The current facility is 28,000 square feet and has 12,000 members.

The YMCA in Citrus County opened its doors in 2016. Castle said membership is growing steadily. About a year ago it had between 10,000 to 11,000 members.

Castle said she does not foresee another expansion in the near future after this one is complete.  

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.

(1) comment


The one thing I wish they'd add above all else is a whirlpool and steam room. But I don't remember them surveying the members.

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