Vicksburg YMCA hosting a ribbon-cutting for new expansion

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 11, 2021

In an effort to meet the needs of the community, the Vicksburg YMCA embarked on an expansion project in 2019.  

The $5.8 million project was completed last year and after a long-awaited celebration, a ribbon-cutting and reception will be held for the new expansion of the Purks-Golding Family YMCA from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12 at 267 YMCA Place.  

“We’ve been waiting to celebrate this since November of last year, but put it off because of COVID,” Purks YMCA director Phillip Doiron said. 

The event will also honor the Golding family, who was instrumental in funding the expansion. 

“The Golding family really believes in what the YMCA’s mission is and what it is doing in this community, and they wanted to support this expansion effort and we wanted to recognize that gift by renaming the facility in their honor,” Doiron said. 

The Goldings have been active in the Vicksburg YMCA since 1984 — 37 years. 

The expansion, which added about 15,000 square feet to the facility’s original 36,000-square-foot footprint, includes two multipurpose rooms and a full-size gymnasium. 

“Plus, we about doubled the space of our fitness center,” Doiron said.  

The expansion was designed to serve more children in the community, which during the pandemic allowed the YMCA to continue with its after-school programs. 

“We didn’t know we were going to have to put it to use the way we did,” Doiron said.  

While the YMCA afterschool program was not able to have as many children as it could have accommodated, which is as many as 250, the extra space did provide for social distancing to those who did participate. 

“We did have to enact different safety protocols due to COVID-19, but that additional space allowed us that flexibility to do so and help people,” he said. 

Doiron said he is proud of the expansion.  

“A lot of work went into the decision of what to build,” he said, including consideration of the community’s needs and how the expansion design could expand its offerings programmatically and from a membership perspective. 

“This is really a one-of-a-kind YMCA facility and I think this is a facility that Vicksburg will be proud of for the next 25 years,” Doiron said. “This speaks highly to all the volunteers that have spent countless hours working to design it and to those who worked to raise money for it.” 

Thursday’s ribbon-cutting and celebration will begin outside due to the rise in the number of COVID cases. 

For those interested in seeing the inter of the facility, people are welcome indoors.  

The facility will be closed during “grand opening,” Doiron said, which will allow people to spread out. 

“We encourage anyone from the community that wants to come here and see it to come because this was built for the community of Vicksburg and we want to celebrate,” Doiron said.  

Refreshments and live music by award-winning songwriter Gram Rea will also be offered during the event. 

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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