continued Those activities included indoor swimming, fitness, running track, indoor tennis courts, racquetball, performing arts and many other suggestions.
“We were about to build much more than a second sheet of ice,” he said.
The town broke ground in March 2001, first clearing a tree-filled area in the Austin Park Woods. By September 2001, the steel structure was up.
“The ice rink opened before the rest of the center to host the Skaneateles High School Hockey Invitational Tournament on January 17, 2002,” Major said. “Everything was finished by the end March 2002.”
The Skaneateles Community Center officially opened its doors to the community on April 2, 2002.
The Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust still owns the facility and the 18.94 acres it is built on, which borders the village’s Austin Park. The Town of Skaneateles Parks & Recreation Department was the operator of the facility for the first seven and a half years, prior to the YMCA taking over operations.
Where it is today
“It was estimated back in 2009 that over three-quarters of [a] million people walked through the doors that year. Today there is a lot more use of the facility than there was back then,” Major said. “People from all over the world have visited.”
Since taking over operations, the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center has seen an increase in membership — approximately a 60 percent increase, Major said.
According to Members Services Director Stephanie Bales, a recent count at the Skaneateles facility revealed more than 3,270 members. As an association, the Skaneateles and Auburn YMCAs recently celebrated reaching the 10,000-member mark, she said.
“We’re very fortunate as a small town to have such a great facility,” Bales said.
Bales, who has been with the center for nearly four years, said when the YMCA took over operations, memberships paid in full were transferred and those who paid monthly were renewed under the YMCA moniker.