The South Sound YMCA in Olympia is on the move, headed downtown through the purchase and consolidation of the 5th Avenue Fitness Center.

“Longtime 5th Avenue owner Chick Barcellona was looking for a new owner so he could retire,” said Jon Jones, chairman of the Y board. “Combining these two centers into one is an initial step in developing a long-term plan for YMCA facility renovations and improvements to maintain a commitment to downtown Olympia.”

Previously, the YMCA was located on Franklin Street, but, according to South Sound YMCA President and CEO Kyle Cronk, its effectiveness has been diminished because of the facility’s age, lack of parking and the amount of work that needs to be done.

“We could spend a million dollars in the building and not make a single improvement that would make a difference, or even be noticed, by members past or present. It’s just time, or even past time, to move,” he said.

The 5th Avenue site will instead offer 16,000 square feet of programmable space with 58 parking stalls. The location will close for several months for renovations beginning Nov. 18. When it re-opens, it will be rechristened as the new downtown YMCA, with the Franklin Street facility permanently closing.

“We are thrilled with the potential new opportunities this resource will bring, along with the ability to serve new members,” said Cronk. “At the Y, we strive to provide the best service and most value for each member.”