YMCA to open its doors in Clovis

By Liliana Castillo: Cannon Connections

The Clovis YMCA will open April 30 and began accepting charter memberships Monday.

Associate Executive Director Shane Nelson said the chapter took 27 memberships its first day.

The local chapter is part of the YMCA of Central Eastern New Mexico, headquartered in Albuquerque.

The center will provide gym services to its members as well as youth activities for members and non-members.

Membership includes access to a 4,500 square foot wellness center which includes cardio, free weights and group fitness classes. Group fitness classes will include spin, yoga, zumba and pilates, Nelson said.

Members also have access to free child care while they work out.

The Clovis Y’s first event will be a summer day camp for children entering kindergarten through 10th grade. The camp will run from the week of May 31 through the week of Aug. 5. Camp hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at Highland Elementary School.

The fee for the YMCA summer day camp is $95 per week for members and $115 a week for non-members and includes a daily snack and field trip fees. Campers will take a field trip each Wednesday and go to the pool each Friday.

The summer camp will also integrate curriculum from the Clovis Municipal Schools, Nelson said.

“That way children will continue to learn throughout the summer,” he said. “Our goal is to help the schools and children and families of Clovis and the surrounding communities.”

Nelson said integration of curriculum gets children who are behind caught up and children who are caught up ahead.

Registration for summer day camp and applications for memberships are being accepted in Suite 23 at the new building in the Hilltop Plaza until April 30, then both will be taken in Suite 17.

Nelson said the Y represents more than a place to work out.

“We want the Y to be our members’ third home. We have our family and our church and then the Y,” Nelson said. “My goal is to make the world a better place than when I got here and through the Y, I can do that.”

Nelson has worked for the YMCA since 2007. He recently moved from Illinois and his wife and children will follow at the end of the school year. Nelson said he has worked at Y’s in similar-sized communities. Nelson said the Clovis Y’s goal is to fill the needs of the community.

“We felt there was a need for a high quality summer program so we’re doing that,” he said.

Nelson said he hopes to implement an after-school program in the fall.

Nelson said he’s seen an outpouring of support from families in Clovis.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” he said.

Delilah Hernandez of Clovis works as a membership service representative for the Clovis Y. She said with two young children and younger brothers, she’s often wanted more for them to do in Clovis.

“This is something new in Clovis,” she said. “It’s exciting to have a Y here.”

The Y will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 30, will be closed May 1 and will open for full hours May 2.

Normal business hours are 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Nelson said he also hopes to adjust hours where possible to the needs of the community.