YMCA Potranco Grand Opening
The Mays Family YMCA celebrated their Grand Opening on Friday, November 4, 2016. The YMCA was introduced by Mayor Ivy Taylor and Councilman Ray Lopez among others from… The subjects of the night were leadership, gratification toward the donors, and the community for all joining together to create a positive addition that will help foster the community and spur growth of other public use projects in the area. At the event, YMCA employees and spokespeople were stationed in all the different spaces of the project to explain the type of activities/programs they would have, generally showcasing what was being offered to encourage attendees to sign up for memberships.
Marmon Mok Architecture had been asked to lead the venture in the renovation of the old Albertson’s into this community building. Among the team, M&S Engineering was brought in to coordinate the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering for the project.
The purpose of the project was to revitalize a former Albertson’s that had been vacant for almost 10 years with something that would enhance the community. One of the ways this was accomplished was by incorporating a branch of the San Antonio Public Library (Potranco Branch Library) inside the building with the YMCA. Other spaces that were designed into the project include: two indoor pools, fitness rooms and a gym, a large wellness center, and a “teaching kitchen”.
When asked about the interesting features of the project, Jonathan Houston, P.E. and Project Manager stated, “architecturally and functionally, I like the way that the SAPL and the YMCA paired up. Not trying to sound touchy-feely, it seems really wholesome to combine education & literacy with physical & spiritual health.”
In a renovation, the existing conditions of the building are a necessary design issue, such considerations as the locations of existing utilities, such as electrical service, water service, and even a grease interceptor had to be reused as much as possible. Even the existing slab was kept as intact as possible, however over 25% had to be saw cut for underfloor electrical power going to the exercise equipment and to include the two new pools.
Other spaces that required special design considerations included the Natatorium’s HVAC.
Of these areas, Jonathan Houston, P.E. stated, “those are tough environments to control and the units must be sized correctly or major problems can happen. We did a lot of coordination to make sure we understood not just the pools themselves, but also the expected usage and activities to make sure we got it right.”
At the Potranco location, there are future plans to build baseball fields. The YMCA is working hard to build more new facilities in the San Antonio area right now. M&S is working with Marmon Mok on the Harvey E. Najim YMCA, which is currently in construction, and on the first of two phases of the Boerne YMCA.