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Tour clockwise from left top:  Aquatics Director Colleen Logan, right, leading a tour. The gymnasium floor. Shiny metal door hardware. The standard pool. Wire bundle waiting on the concrete floor. the Warm-water pool complete with the Spray Park for kids (green pipe). Front entrance.
in a flurry
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM --- Flurry.
With the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center slated to open for business Feb. 29, there's a flurry of busy. Hard-hat tours are run on Saturdays and Sundays and staffers are distributing information on membership and signing up members. And workers are pedal to the metal, working on Saturdays to get the building ready in time.
Amanda Kelly, executive director of the Hale YMCA,  said the volume of people coming through the building, in the Quinebaug Regional Tech Park off Kennedy Drive, has been unexpectedly good. Some 300 people came through the first weekend and 400 took a look last weekend.
After finishing the tour, she said, some people are signing up for memberships and a good number are gathering information to make a decision. The Y's Friends and  Family Promotion ends Feb. 29, she said.
Kelly added what also stood out to her was "how excited everyone is."
Colleen Logan, aquatics director, lead one recent tour, pointing out the youth areas. There is a child watch area for kids 6 weeks old to 4 years old; an Amazing Kids area and a Teen Center complete with a lounge and computers.
The Wellness Center includes large windows that overlook the Quinebaug River. Men's Women's and unisex locker rooms are centered in the building, with private show areas and a bathing suit dryer. The locker rooms have a door on each end. One way runs along the health and wellness side of the building and the other is a "wet corridor" which is on the pool side of the building.
Next to the Wellness Center is the gymnasium. Some training rooms, for activities like Zumba and another with a rubber floor with weights are along the backside of the building. 
On the "wet" side of the building there is a steam room and a dry sauna, said Logan. They are unisex and are for those 16 and older.
There are two pools. One is a warm water pool which will be held at 87 degrees. It contains a kids' pool area with a "spray park" and both that pool and the 4-foot deep pool attached to it are handicapped accessible. This pool with host swim lessons, water aerobics, water walking and therapy.
Next to that pool is an eight-lane, 25 yard long pool that goes from 4 feet deep to 7 feet deep. Logan said the Hale YMCA hopes to have a YMCA swim team and to open to high school teams. Nearby is a 12-person whirlpool for those 16 and older. 
A ribbon cutting is planned for Feb. 27 and there will be an open house that afternoon, said Baker.  
The Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center will serve residents from the towns of Putnam, Killingly, Eastford, Thompson, Brooklyn, Pomfret, Woodstock and Plainfield.  The center is about 46,000 square feet and the price tag is over $14 million.
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