ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) – 2024. That’s when the Andover YMCA is expected to be operational again after a tornado ravaged the city in April.
Morgan Hamlin was inside the Andover YMCA in April 2022 as cars flew into the building and halls by the entrance were destroyed. He said it was his favorite YMCA location and can’t wait to come back.
Hamlin said moments after a lifeguard got people out of the pool and into the locker room that it was a direct hit. People inside the Andover YMCA said the tornado was coming right at them.
“I kinda kneeled down plugged my ears because I knew it was going to be super loud, and I just did a silent prayer, and I knew it wasn’t my time to go, so thankful for that,” said Hamlin.
The YMCA was devastated by the tornado.
“There were people right there at the front door where all those cars got flung through like 60 secs before all the cars were flung through there, so that is how fast they were working to make sure everyone got to where they needed to be in time safely,” said Hamlin.
“To see it in life with nine cars piled up in the entryway – it was a shocker to go through that for sure,” said Ronn McMahon, the CEO and president of the Greater Wichita YMCA.
McMahon said the last few months, the team has been working out insurance, figuring out what parts of the building can be remodeled and what has to be rebuilt, and designing a newer and better Andover Y.
“It’s going to be brand new all inside. Everything is going to be brand new. It is going to be state of the art like always. All new equipment, all new things, we have some – we are going to enhance our gymnastics area, the climbing wall and that area is going to have a new look and feel,” said McMahon.
Hamlin said he looks forward to stepping back into the Andover Y.
“I was disappointed because right when it hit the waterparks were about to open, and I was ready to go,” said Hamlin.
McMahon said they hope to have the new and improved waterpark open by next summer, and the entire facility open by spring of 2024.