YMCA creates presence with plans to build new facility

From left, sixth-graders Ryan Stewart and Ian Witter, as well as seventh-graders Añese Lambson and Ashley Smith, show off their prizes from the games at the YMCA outdoor summer camp at Mountain View Middle School this month.
Courtesy photo

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The YMCA of Central New Mexico has established a presence in Rio Rancho with an eye on eventually building a facility here.

This summer, YMCA representatives are working with Rio Rancho Public Schools and the City of Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department to begin planning for the YMCA building.

The YMCA made progress towards developing a new facility in 2013, when it procured a U.S. Housing and Urban Development land grant for seven acres on Montezuma Boulevard between Broadmoor and Loma Colorado boulevards.

A feasibility study to determine which Y programs will best benefit Rio Rancho needs to be done to begin construction on a new facility.

“Rio Rancho is a wonderful city with great public schools,” said Zizi Fritz, CEO of the YMCA of Central New Mexico. “The YMCA does not want to replicate programs and facilities but wants to complement and enhance the terrific work going on in the community.”

Extensive renovations took place at the two large Y facilities in Albuquerque, HB & Lucille Horn Family YMCA and McLeod Family YMCA, in 2008 and 2009. A bank note for the renovations needs to be retired to start capital campaign plans for a Rio Rancho facility.

Fritz said she does not know how long it would take for that bank note to retire but accelerated efforts are being made.

With Rio Rancho being the third largest city in the state, the Y believes many youth and families would benefit from Y programs for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The YMCA partnered with Mountain View Middle School this spring to further establish its presence in the area and bring a change of pace to traditional camps for youth.

The camp creates fun environment where middle schoolers can work on conditioning and exploring new challenges, according to Karin Beach-Pond, the director of this year’s spring camp and physical education teacher at Mountain View.

The camp targets middle-school-aged children who benefit from the camp socially, emotionally and physically. It offers a variety of games including Minute to Win It, scavenger hunts, memory and quick-decision games and a variety of sports challenges.

To continue to establish a presence in Rio Rancho and work toward building a new facility, Fritz said the YMCA of Central New Mexico is looking for donors, volunteers and people who would like to be on the Y board.

To get involved with the YMCA of Central New Mexico, visit ymcacnm.org.