Clarion County YMCA Membership Increases 33% With 900 New Members in One Week

| February 8, 2019

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The new Clarion County YMCA expectations were surpassed with a 33% increase in new memberships in one week.

(Photo and video by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)

With the opening of a new full-service facility last Thursday morning, there were expectations of an increase in memberships; however, an increase of 900 new members has exceeded projections.

As of Thursday morning, memberships have increased approximately 33 percent with 900 memberships added to the 1850 members of the old YMCA.

“We are now at 2,750 members,” said Jesse Kelley, branch manager of the Clarion County YMCA. “There are new members of all ages, but we certainly see a growth in the number of family members, and you see the impact on those memberships. Just this night I pulled up at the Y before closing, and I was just looking through the windows in the back. I saw a dad playing basketball with his two daughters, and they are working on some drills and layups. That’s just awesome.”

The new YMCA includes lots of windows in the building encouraging people to witness the growth of participation and even see the four core values displayed on the walls of the gymnasium– Respect, Responsibility, Caring, and Honesty.

The addition of Clarion County’s first indoor pool open throughout the year has attracted interest and membership, along with providing some things not available at the old YMCA.

Kelley said he noticed Program Director James Collins teaching a new lifeguard on how to measure pool chemicals and that brought to mind additional impacts.

“There is that impact of bringing more part-time jobs into the community,” Kelley said. “That’s what we were never able to offer before to the area.  There was a lot of talk about the size of the pool before we built it, and it was a highly contested item, but to have that reassurance, it feels good to see so many families using it. With so many of the aqua classes being completely full, we had to add additional classes.”

The Y also nearly doubled its number of employees, adding from 30 to 35 employees.

Video by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.

It was no accident that the new Y attracted additional memberships, and that was part of the reason it worked with Gro, a national leader in the development, design, and management of YMCAs and other community-based facilities.

“The size of this Y for our community was done right,” Kelley continued,  “with the way it’s designed in terms of the layout and spaces, especially like the wellness center with the track.  I did not expect the track to be as heavily utilized as it has.  We have seven treadmills and all of that cardio equipment up there, but a lot of people using the Y just walk on that track—it’s unbelievable. I was worried about it being too congested— but because of the way we’ve zoned it so that all of you free weight lifters who want to lift barbells and dumbbells are in one space. If you’re a walker, that walking track takes you through the entire Y.”

“You have great views and not only outside but into the gym, into the pool, and the wellness center. When you space it, the way it’s zoned and you have your cardio zone and your strength machines in a separate area, I think those zones really helped us to absorb this growth that we’re talking about right now.  That was really smart how Gro helped design it and the way KTH Architects brought the design to life. GRO gave us a design to help grow membership, and that’s exactly what has happened. KTH was able to take that and put the nuts and bolts of the architectural side to make it real and come to life.”

The new YMCA is attracting all ages, and Kelley has to look no further than the full-size gymnasium.

“It’s a place for teenagers to come to the gym – we’ve got so many kids coming and hanging out in the gymnasium, playing pickup games. It gives them alternative things to do that are healthy and wholesome. It makes me smile.”

Kelley and the staff at the Y have a lot to smile about these days.


The Clarion County YMCA has various membership programs, including Buddy-Up for Fitness, Corporate Wellness Partnerships, Nationwide Membership Program, and Silver Sneakers for those over 65 years of age.

For information on memberships, check the website, or stop by the YMCA to see what they have to offer and pick up a copy of their rates.

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