The former YMCA building once again becomes a hub of downtown activity. Last week, a temporary emergency shelter moved into the vacant facility. On Wednesday, a fitness club opens for business under private ownership.
For six decades, the YMCA has been the center for fitness in downtown Regina. It closed two years ago.
Director of Fitness Rod Flahr said the new fitness area will have something for any type of athlete.
“Clinical exercise, physiologist, physiotherapist, myself, my high-end trainers for my elite athletes or the amateur athlete. You get everything here with the most educational experience you’re going to find that I know of in Saskatchewan and I’ve been doing this for 33 years,” he said.
New members were invited to visit the renovated facility for a pre-opening tour. Brayden Fox used to train here occasionally when it was the YMCA.
“[It’s] sad, I think, to see it sit empty for the last year or two that the Y wasn’t there, so it’s nice to see some energy and it being brought back into use and what The Nest is trying do, it’s super cool,” he said.
For the next three months, The Nest will work side by side with Regina’s temporary emergency shelter.
Once that facility is decommissioned, the gym and pools will be renovated. Then construction can begin on medical offices, diagnostic services, a 24-hour pharmacy and a day care.
Neha Jain, communications director of The Nest, said the health center will be run by a group of doctors.
“An initiative and a partnership like this really allows us to alleviate some of the touch points throughout the health care system as a whole,” she said.
This week’s opening of The Nest will be like a homecoming for those who used to go to the YMCA center as one of Regina’s longest running fitness spots returns to business.