Len Borchers, Olympic Peninsula YMCA CEO, cuts the ribbon during the grand opening of the YMCA of Sequim on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Len Borchers, Olympic Peninsula YMCA CEO, cuts the ribbon during the grand opening of the YMCA of Sequim on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Community effort touted as doors to YMCA of Sequim officially open

SEQUIM — The doors to the YMCA of Sequim have officially opened, one year after the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center’s closed.

As officials spoke during the grand opening of the facility Sunday, dozens were enjoying the Y’s pool, which opened to the public Thursday.

That wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of community members and organizations that worked to reopen the facility, said Len Borchers, Olympic Peninsula YMCA CEO.

“It’s a great example of what can happen if we all get together and do the right thing,” Borchers said.

Randy Johnson, a YMCA board member, echoed Borchers.

“When you think about everyone coming together, to me, this is just one of the most wonderful examples I could imagine,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened without all of us coming together.”

Johnson is running for the Clallam County Board of Commissioners District 2 seat against Ron Richards.

Officials said that by the grand opening Sunday, nearly 2,000 people were members of the Sequim YMCA.

The YMCA took over operations after SARC closed Oct. 30, 2015.

Members of Clallam County Parks and Recreation District 1, the junior taxing district that owns SARC, voted to turn the facility’s management over to the Olympic Peninsula YMCA.

The facility will see an expansion of hours, with the YMCA of Sequim open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Frank Pickering, chair of the SARC board, said one year ago, he had the misfortune of locking the doors to SARC behind him.

“I, from the SARC board, would like to say thank you very much to everyone that worked together because this community really badly needs this asset,” he said.

When SARC closed, about 80 people, including many teenagers, were without work, he said.

As the Sequim Y moves forward, Kurt Turner, branch manager, expects the YMCA to hire some 50 to 60 teenagers.

“At the Y, we’re looking forward to serving the community,” he said. “It was a community effort to get it going, and it’s going to be a community effort to keep us thriving and rolling, moving in the direction we want to.”

The YMCA of Sequim’s Because Life Is a Community Sport Campaign raised $176,380 to help youths and needy families participate in YMCA programs. The YMCA of Sequim launched the campaign in June and received gifts from 140 donors.

The YMCA also operates a facility in Port Angeles at 302 S. Francis St. and in Port Townsend at 1925 Blaine St.

For more about the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, see olympicpeninsulaymca.org.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

Terry Ward, publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum, serves on the Olympic Peninsula YMCA board of directors.

Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith tells people during the grand opening of the YMCA of Sequim on Sunday the YMCA saved a tremendous asset for Sequim by continuing operations at the former Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith tells people during the grand opening of the YMCA of Sequim on Sunday the YMCA saved a tremendous asset for Sequim by continuing operations at the former Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Randy Johnson, Olympic Peninsula YMCA board member, said during the grand opening of the YMCA of Sequim that the new Y is a result of everybody coming together. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Randy Johnson, Olympic Peninsula YMCA board member, said during the grand opening of the YMCA of Sequim that the new Y is a result of everybody coming together. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

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