The Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids, Mich., received Universal Design Certification last week, becoming the first facility in the world to earn that certification from the Global Universal Design Commission. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the facility last week.
Universal design is the concept to create buildings that are accessible to everyone who uses them: the elderly and people with and without disabilities.
The 116,200-sf Mary Free Bed YMCA is located on a 36-acre campus with two pools, two group fitness centers, and two and a half gyms. It also has an indoor track, climbing wall, wheelchair softball field, and baseball and soccer fields.
Outside of athletics, the facility has a greenhouse, teaching kitchen, and learning farm. The Carol Van Andel Healthy Living Center will hold programs that teach nutrition and physical activity.
The project cost $31 million. The YMCA was designed by Progressive AE, an architecture firm based in Grand Rapids.