ShareThis Page

YMCA buys West Kittanning health club

| Thursday, May 15, 2014, 11:55 p.m.
Pictured from left to right are: YMCA CEO Joely Beeker;  former Mac's Health Club co-owners Larry and Janet McKelvey; YMCA President Stan Berdell; YMCA Board Director Richard G. Snyder. Wednesday May 14, 2014
Louis B.Ruediger | Leader Times
Pictured from left to right are: YMCA CEO Joely Beeker; former Mac's Health Club co-owners Larry and Janet McKelvey; YMCA President Stan Berdell; YMCA Board Director Richard G. Snyder. Wednesday May 14, 2014

Just two years after opening in Kittanning, the Richard G. Snyder YMCA campus will soon expand its reach across the Allegheny River to offer extended services to the wider community.

YMCA officials this week announced the purchase of Mac's Health Club at 316 First Ave. in West Kittanning and its plan to turn the 6,300-square-foot club into a satellite facility for ages 16 and up.

“We came to a mutual agreement about two months ago,” said Larry McKelvey, who founded the health club in 1993 in East Franklin before moving in 2000 to the Kittanning location.

“I'm proud of the fact that we had a business for 20 years — we're excited to pass that along,” he said.

Richard G. Snyder, board director and donor of the land for the Kittanning YMCA, said the acquisition was positive for the community since it allows an exercise facility to continue in the same location.

“I think it was a great thing we were able to accept it — given that it is in a residential area,” he said.

For now, the club will continue to run on its same schedule, said Joely Beeker, YMCA CEO. On June 30, it will open as a YMCA branch. From that day through July 31, new fitness classes will be offered.

Janet McKelvey, former co-owner of Mac's, plans to continue teaching an exercise class there when the transition is final. She and YMCA staff will discuss what fitness classes will be offered, such as Mac's popular “Boom Boom Pow” lower body toning, Beeker said.

The facility will close from July 31 through Aug. 15 to allow for YMCA branding, painting and equipment upgrades. There will be an official grand opening on Aug. 16.

A membership rate increase will take affect for new members on June 1, and on Oct. 1 for current members.

Stan Berdell, YMCA board president, said the decision to increase rates was made before a deal was made with the McKelveys.

He said that even though the number of members has increased over the last two years, from 730 to 1,300, the YMCA is losing money.

“We cannot operate on a deficit or we will end up like the old Y,” Berdell said.

He was referring to the YMCA along Water Street near the Kittanning Citizens Bridge that was in a state of deterioration for years prior to closing.

“It was a tough decision to raise rates, because we don't want to drive anyone away,” he said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.