Sands Family YMCA opens. Here's why people are so excited

Originally published in Democrat & Chronicle on .
Senator Pam Helming

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday officially opened the new Canandaigua “Y,” although several exercisers lined up right at opening time of 5:30 a.m. to get a jump on the day. 

The 75,000-square foot facility, ground for which was broken last year, features three studios for group exercise, two gymnasiums – including one with turf – two pools with an indoor splash playground, an innovation station for art and STEM programming, teaching kitchen, and dedicated play spaces for children and families.

In addition to all kinds of exercise equipment and space, the new “Y” also houses the Mickey Sands Child Care Center and Mary Clark Thompson Family Practice, a UR Medicine Thompson Health primary care facility named for an early Canandaigua philanthropist. 

To make the Sands Family YMCA possible required a “tremendous outpouring” of support from the community and members, several YMCA officials said.  

The new facility has received funding from the federal and state governments in addition to contributions from the Sands Family Foundation and donations large and small. 

State Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, said the new Y will help to address a childcare desert and provide increased access to vital medical services, which is critical to serve businesses and help them attract new employees.

"It's a smart investment for the community," Helming said.