The Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA was established in 1958. In 1980, the facility relocated to its current location when the primary developer of Lakewood granted the property to the organization. To address accessibility and visibility challenges, the portion of the site fronting Carson Street was cleared to provide a new 16,000 square foot addition, intended to create a strong architectural identity and serve as a welcoming “front door” to the community. The original undersized lobby was replaced with a stunning double height corridor which has come to be known as the "grand hall”. Abundant windows fill the space with natural light and establish a clear north/south circulation spine linking all of the new and existing spaces. Highly visible from Carson Street, the grand hall and second floor fitness room serves as a distinctive beacon both day and night. The "greeter's desk" is centrally located and ample lobby seating is provided to serve as the community's "living room" where members can relax, mingle and enjoy views of the pool. Though not required by code, the site was reconfigured to add an additional 35 stalls dedicated to membership use.
In order to compete with other fitness facilities within the area, it was important to create a unique, resort-like environment utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. To that end, the fitness center is located on the second level with floor to ceiling glass to maximize vistas of the pool and Heartwell Park located directly across the street. These elevated vantage points have affectionately earned the fitness center the nickname of the "tree house".
The size of the facility doubled to 32,000 square feet, enabling the addition of an exercise room, family changing area, yoga room, teen center, board room and teaching kitchen. The child care, adventure guide and administration facilities were expanded and improved, and the existing basketball courts, locker rooms, and racquetball courts were refurbished. All of these improvements reinforce the YMCA's mission of encouraging healthy living, learning and a sense of community.
The $6,000,000 addition and refurbishment of the Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA can accommodate a 50% increase to the facility’s existing 5,000-person membership. During the first two months of operation, attraction of new members has increased significantly with a mostly younger and family demographic, ensuring future growth. “This facility will be a beacon to the community,” Alfredo Velasco, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach said. “We’re all about creating community, and now we have the right space to do so."