PEABODY — Not all the heavy lifting at the Torigian Family YMCA has been in the weight room.
With the help of a 265-foot, 300-ton crane, workmen have been lifting massive steel beams and maneuvering them onto the building this week as part of an $800,000 expansion.
According to director Crissy Jache, the expansion was in the plans even before the building opened on Lynnfield Street in 2006. The new space fits neatly amid three existing walls and once completed won’t even be noticed from the street.
On the other hand, it will give the Y some growing room. “It’s a lot of additional space,” says Jache.
It will provide places for cardio and strength training, an exercise studio for Zumba and tai chi, and a cycling studio. In the case of the latter, people have been getting more exercise than they want.
“We now have shared space, so you pull out the bikes when you use them,” says Jache. “Then you put the bikes back.” The new room will give members a dedicated space for spinning.
With a whole bank of windows at one end and access to the open spaces of the existing Y at the other, the new area is expected to be bright and inviting.
The massive crane — you couldn’t miss it — arrived Wednesday and was expected to stay through the week.
During construction, the Y has had to close down for a few hours during the day. As a safety precaution even the front parking lot was closed. It will reopen for the usual hours starting today.
Meanwhile, members have shown remarkable patience, says both Jache and membership director Amy Amirault. Even those who missed the warnings and wound up being turned away at the entrance took the news in good spirits.
“And there’s been definitely a lot of ‘wow’ factor,” says Amirault, looking up at the monster crane earlier this week.
“It was just amazing watching that,” says Jache.
The contractor for the expansion project is R.C. Griffin of Peabody.
Jache hopes to see the work completed and the space ready for workouts in the fall.