The Berkeley Heights Township Council unanimously approved an ordinance on April 4, 2017 that set the terms and conditions for a 50-year lease with the YMCA. The lease approval is a win-win for the community as it ensures that the YMCA will continue to serve the Berkeley Heights community as it has for the past 22 years, and also ensures the BHCP will continue to provide safe, family-friendly fun as a summer outdoor pool and facility for the community. The Y plans to build a new state-of-the-art 30,000+ square foot facility, make improvements to the existing pool and grounds for the current season, and build a new outdoor pool within the first six years of the lease.
Town residents, who overwhelmingly supported the Y as a cornerstone of the community, as well as the BHCP leadership, who advocated that the Y’s mission was closely tied to its own, were instrumental in securing the lease. Berkeley Heights Mayor Robert Woodruff shared with TAPintoBerkeleyHeights that 80% of residents told him it "would make a difference (to them) if the Y left.” The township will be conducting traffic studies for Timber and Locust Avenues to address local residents’ concerns related to safety and congestion.
“While the current Berkeley Heights YMCA location at 550 Springfield Avenue has served members well as a health & wellness and childcare center, the facility has limited our ability to provide and improve on the types of programs and services the community needs. We are confident the new Y facility and pool on Locust Ave will provide essential services that will strengthen the community even further. We are proud to offer youth and adults swim lessons and lifeguard certification trainings that reduce the risk of drowning, a full-sized gym where children will build confidence by learning skills and sportsmanship, a child care center that will give working parents quality care options and peace of mind, and meeting rooms where seniors, cancer survivors or others will gather for fellowship” said Paul Kieltyka, President and CEO of the Summit Area YMCA.
BHCP will kick of the 2017 season starting on May 27, Memorial Day weekend. Registration is currently open to both Berkeley Heights residents and non-residents at http://bhcpool.com/, and early bird pricing is valid through April 30. BHCP members do not have to be members of the YMCA to belong to the pool. Families and individuals can take advantage of the Olympic size swimming pool and a wading pool for young children, swim team, swim lessons, basketball and tennis clinics, water exercise classes, Camp Breakers, and food concessions in a picturesque setting. Furthermore, the Y is now hiring for all positions for BHCP. Interested applicants can download the application by clicking on the employment tabs at http://bhcpool.com/ or https://www.thesay.org/.
The YMCA’s cause is to nurture the potential of youth, encourage and motivate healthy living, and promote volunteerism for community members to give back to others. “We are proud of our rich heritage and tradition, and want the community to know that, as a cause-driven, mission oriented non-profit, we offer needs-based financial assistance to those interested in membership, childcare, camp, and programs. The Y is an inclusive organization that welcomes all regardless of their financial or physical circumstance and we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve the Berkeley Heights community.
The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501(c)(3) organizations. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, our programs and services are open to all regardless of financial circumstance. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.