YMCA to open in Statesboro

Erin McGuiness

The YMCA of Coastal Georgia will open a location in Statesboro in the first quarter of 2017 at the previous location of the Sally Zettenhower school.

The 60,000 square foot space, located on the corner of Gentilly Road and Brannen Street, is in the process of architectural drawings and will go out for bidding in the next 30 days, according to Joel Smoker, CEO of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia.

The Statesboro YMCA board conducted a preliminary survey to get a feel for what types of programs this community needs the most.

Smoker said that there is a strong need for seniors’ programs related to the health of the community as well as youth development, wellness and social responsibility programs.

“Growing up in Statesboro, I never had anything like this, so I think it will be good for kids and teens and give them more opportunities to learn,” Blake Barnard, freshman pre-nursing major, said.

The landlord will demolish the circle classroom in front of the gym on the property in the next 30 days to kick off the project.

“I think [students] should be excited for a lot of different reasons,” Smoker said. “First and foremost, I was a struggling college student at GS myself, and I needed a job, and the YMCA will provide many jobs such as helping with childcare programs and employment in wellness and fitness programs.”

Because of the 60,000 square feet of indoor space, Smoker said that this property has the potential to have social service opportunities, rooms available for think tanks, shared work space and other opportunities.