Summer's on the way, and at the YMCA that means days packed with children's activities while mom and dad are at work.
But there's one improvement the YMCA wants to make to ease parents' concerns — installing air conditioning in some parts of the building.
YMCA Executive Director Tracy Fuller said after hearing concerns of some parents, the organization is looking to install air conditioning in the gymnasium and gymnastics room.
"We are hoping to put it in and are in the process of talking to a structural engineer,'' she said.
Fuller said that she would not put a definitive timetable on the installation. The cost is expected to be between $60,000 and $80,000.
Fuller said that on summer days when it is very hot, children attending the YMCA will spend more time in the pool or go to other areas of the building where it is cooler.
"Last summer many children were dehydrated and got sick due to the excessive temperatures in the areas,'' reads a letter from parents dated March 23.
Fuller said the YMCA is dedicated to giving children the best environment possible.
"Our goal is to keep health and safety in the forefront of everything that we do,'' she said.
It is rare that local YMCA buildings have air conditioning in their gymnasiums. Jack Meany, chief executive officer of the Northshore YMCAs, said two of the eight YMCAs in the north shore group have air-conditioned gyms. The Sterling YMCA in Beverly and the Lynch/Van Ottleroo YMCA in Marblehead are newer facilities and had air conditioning installed in their gymnasiums when they were built.
Fuller said she has received fewer complaints about the heat in the gym than in the gymnastics center. Basketball players and others using the gym prefer higher temperatures so they can work up more of a sweat, she said.
The parents' letter also mentions "unsanitary" conditions in bathrooms and behind the rock climbing area at the YMCA.
Fuller said the organization works to keep all areas clean and will continue to do so.
"I think our building is very clean and we've done a lot of surveys in relation to that," she said.
The letter also says some families are looking for alternative summer camp options and will not allow their children to take classes in the areas of the YMCA that parents are concerned about.