Frank DeLuca YMCA unveils new outdoor facility

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Wednesday the Frank DeLuca YMCA celebrated it’s largest outdoor expansion to date.

The project expansion began when staff and board members at the Y broke ground in Jan.

The massive project includes, the new ‘airnasium,’ pickle ball courts and three additional soccer fields and it was all done in less than a year.

“We’re super excited about this sportplex. What do you guys think about the area that you’re standing in? It is so awesome!” former YMCA Executive Director, Nicole Bloom said during the presentation.

The whole project cost 2.5 million dollars.

RELATED: Ocala YMCA breaks ground on new outdoor sportscomplex

“We’ve been very blessed to have this space for a very long time and I feel like we are more fully utilizing our outdoor space. We’re very lucky to have the soccer fields formal of these years. With these that we’re standing on wasn’t used as much,” YMCA Board member Jay Fratello said.

The new pickle ball court was donated by Andy Pawlowski.

He said he hopes that this new space will be a place where the community can come and enjoy a sport that he and his wife once enjoyed together.

In Bonnie’s memory, Pawlowski donated the new pickle ball courts to the YMCA.

Pawlowski has been playing the sport for more than 20 years.

It’s an activity that he and Bonnie grew to love together.

“Before we got married, it was our Friday night date night. Go have some recreation, go have some dinner. It’s just fun having something that you can do with your spouse or our children, and that’s what the family thing is all about. That’s what incented me to do this for the Y because now we can get the families involved,” Pawlowski said.

The Ocala YMCA’s namesake donated one million dollars to help in constructing the outdoor facility.

This is the second time that DeLuca has donated this type of funding to the Y.

“There’s nothing like this, there’s no airnasium like this in Ocala right now. They can come out here in the evening and play, and this is probably one of the largest YMCAs probably in the nation as far as the items that we have here,” DeLuca said.

Future projects for the Y include a new teen center, and officials said they would like to upgrade the pool area as well.

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