According to District Vice President Cindy Sofarelli, the Tampa area YMCAs have identified SouthShore as the next area it needs to expand its services to.
In what is being called “Vision 2020,” the board approved the expansion into the SouthShore area. It is now looking for land around the Big Bend corridor.
Ahead of the new facility, the Y has partnered with the South Shore United Methodist Church, located at 11525 Big Bend Rd., to being offering youth sports and group exercise on-site. It also recently held a YMCA Preview Party to let residents know.
Other activities it is planning include aquatics – either as backyard swimming lessons or in community pools – and its SilverSneakers program for senior 55 and older through a partnership with SouthBay Hospital, where the classes will take place.
It is also looking to do a pick-up service in the SouthShore area for Camp Cristina, Riverview’s current Y location at 9840 Balm Riverview Rd.
The Y is looking to purchase approximately 10-15 acres of land to build a facility, “a little smaller than Campo,” Sofarelli explained.
It is hoping the site will be home to its own aquatic facility, workout machines, group exercise rooms, and children’s rooms and youth sports fields.
 “Y’s are able to be built through community support,” Sofarelli said. This includes fundraising, community support and partnerships.
Currently, the staff of Campo and Brandon Y’s is helping with the roll out, she said, but the new Y will be hiring closer to its opening. At Campo, there are currently 22 full-time and part-time employees and 175 at Brandon, to give an idea as to how many staff members will be needed at the new Y.
Sofarelli said there is a community survey available if residents would like to give their input on the new Y. It can be obtained by e-mailing her personally at
“We’re excited about serving that community,” she concluded.
More information can also be obtained by calling Campo YMCA, located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico, at 684-1371. The Brandon YMCA is located at 3097 Kingsway Rd. in Seffner and can be reached at 685-5402.

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Jennifer Silverstein
Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.