YMCA expanding with 2nd Katy location

- A growing organization in Katy reminds a community that they are life savers in many ways, and they're on a mission to do more. The Katy Family YMCA hosted a groundbreaking celebration on Friday for its future location in the southwest corner of the Katy Freeway and Pin Oak Road. This second YMCA to serve the Katy area is inside the Katy city limits.

"This new facility will allow our Y over the next few years to serve 20,000 more people in the wide variety of ways that the YMCA does," says Paul McEntire, YMCA of Greater Houston president and chief executive officer.

McEntire adss that the population boom in Katy has maxed out the current Katy Family YMCA in Cinco Ranch. That one location currently serves around 50,000 people with health and wellness, sports, childcare and activity groups for teens and adults.

The new two-story, 41,000 square foot YMCA will provide the same services and more.

"We know that some of our existing members at the Cinco Ranch location will relocate," says Brian Haines, vice president of operations at the YMCA of Greater Houston. "But that's helpful, because even by that Y, there's all kinds of new residential growth, and we'll be able to serve them more effectively."

But because of recent energy industry layoffs, serving Katy's population also means serving those going through tough economic times.

"The YMCA is available for all and whether it's a family that's struggling financially, or that needs a place to belong, we can subsidize the rates with fundraising in the community," says Haines.

Katy City Councilman Steve Pierson, who serves as the board chairman for the Katy Family YMCA, says the Y will also help families going through emotional hard times. Fitness and family gatherings are just part of it.

"I think one of the greatest things in our new YMCA in the City of Katy, is that we're going to have a prayer garden that's going to be maintained by the churches of Katy," says Pierson.

Many people see the YMCA as a place to train life savers, as in lifeguards, for the pool or the beach. But Pierson hopes Katy's new Y, which opens in 2017, will be a place for spiritual lifesaving as well.

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