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Since the York Jewish Community Center opened its doors in York more than 100 years ago, a growing number of people have participated in the myriad services it offers.

Enough people, in fact, to necessitate the $8 million renovation and expansion project underway at the facility.

Construction at the center began last fall and includes expansions to the wellness area, child care spaces and adding about 60 parking spots. The construction is expected to be completed this fall.

Wellness: The 6,200-square-foot expansion to the wellness center will include a new weightlifting area, a state-of-the-art cycling studio and a group fitness room, said the center's chief financial and operating officer, Matthew Scarpato.

The group fitness room will have "an open floor and real high ceilings that can be used for any type of group aerobic-type fitness classes, like yoga or Zumba," he said. "Right now we've been holding a lot of those classes in the auditorium because of a capacity issue."

Child care: "We've actually had a long wait list for I'd say about 15 years," Scarpato said regarding the center's early-age child care program. "We're really seeing an increasing need where parents need a full-day program."

JCC offers an early child care program for children 18 months to pre-kindergarten, and the 11,000-square-foot expansion will create space for an additional 55 kids, Scarpato said.

There will be an additional four classrooms that will be approximately 1,000 square feet, each of which will boast an educational area, a play space, small library, an eating area and "a lot of natural light for days they may not be able to go outside," Scarpato said.

The expansion to the child care area also will include a large motor-skills room, which is "a small gym where younger kids can be physically active," he said. "It's about a third the size of our full gym. We'll have our youth fitness director run child care programming from there, and teachers will be able to take the kids there to make sure they're staying active."

And in that vein, the classrooms and motor-skills development space will have direct access to the outdoor playgrounds to make sure the kids are always moving.

To pay for the upgrades, JCC last year began a capital campaign that brought in more than $5 million, Scarpato said.

The remainder of the cost is being paid for through internally generated funds and loans.

To donate, visit yorkjcc.org or contact Janine Pflaum at jpflaum@yorkjcc.org or (717) 843-0918.

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