SHERIDAN — While the nearly 10-day closing of the Sheridan YMCA may cause some local exercise regulars grief, leaders at the nonprofit said the closure allows for a safe and efficient cleanup of the facility.
YMCA maintenance employee Jason Szewc said this year’s maintenance projects include buffing and waxing floors, deep cleaning various sections of the facility and updating gyms and equipment.
He said the heavy workload as well as the time it takes for projects to set requires the facility to close.
Szewc said it took nearly three days to seal the gym floors, which then require days without traffic on them.
To seal the gym floors, Szewc said the YMCA contracts a company from Casper, as he said there’s not a local company that can do the work. This means all gyms must be done in the same week and eliminates the option of keeping the facility open and closing and sealing one gym floor at a time.
An open facility with restricted areas where maintenance is occurring could also allow for a member to wander into the restricted area, Szewc said.
“You’re never going to get that quality of job because somebody’s always going to mess up and you’re never going to be able to control that one person (who) goes through that door,” Szewc said.
Additionally, YMCA member and maintenance week volunteer Bob Giurgevich said it’s just safer with the facility closed.
Giurgevich has been volunteering during maintenance week for about four years, and said he is usually assigned a painting job.
Giurgevich said with equipment like ladders throughout the facility it’s safer for staff and members to not use the facility during the week, rather than to try to work around them.
Giurgevich had to adjust, too, during the maintenance week, but said his workout during the week has become volunteering.
“That’s been part of my adjustment is just to (paint), and it’s really a different kind of exercise than what I normally do,” Giurgevich said. “Because I feel this much more than if I’m in there working on the machines.”
Other maintenance during the YMCA’s week of closure includes adding pads to the walls of Gym 3, replacing the backboards of the basketball hoops in Gym 2, replacing tiles in floors, draining, cleaning and refilling the pools and deep cleaning areas like the weight room and locker rooms.
Szewc said a lot of work needs to be completed without much manpower. He said the YMCA tries to follow the same guidelines and standards as other facilities like hospitals and schools, but doesn’t have nearly the staff.
“There’s just more to be done than we have the time for in this (week) that it’s closing anyway,” Szewc said. “You look at the facility we have here, and the amount of staff to maintain it on a regular basis is nothing compared to a school or any other facility even close to this size.”
When members return once the YMCA reopens Aug. 21 they can be prepared to enjoy the additions and restorations.
“It’s time to kind of refresh,” Szewc said.