Residents can now sign up as members of the new Spurlino Family YMCA which will open its doors in January.

SouthShore residents are a big step closer to having a new place to gather. Although the grand opening celebration for The Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Road is scheduled for January, residents are now able to officially join the facility.

Planning for the location started more than five years ago when the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved a 30-year lease agreement for more than 35 acres of county land to the Tampa YMCA for the construction of the facility.

According to Lalita Llerena, YMCA Communications Director, even before memberships were open for purchase, more than 3,000 residents had voluntarily signed up for information on packages.

“This is unlike anything we’ve seen,” said Llerena. “Although we haven’t opened a new family facility in 18 years, we are just as eager and thrilled to open our new Y to serve the community through a supportive environment where everyone can come together to improve their quality of life.”

The facility is named after the lead donors Cy and Joanne Spurlino, and features 32,500 sq. ft. of indoor space and an outdoor aquatic center with a lap pool and family fun pool, similar to the one at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico, offering a zero-depth entry and fun play features.

“The location will offer a state-of-the-art wellness center complete with top-notch equipment, innovative fitness technology, an indoor cycling studio and two exercise rooms offering popular classes such cycling, yoga, Zumba, boot camp and Les Mills,” said Llerena.

Some of the programs offered at the location will include personal and group training, a diabetes prevention program, a cancer survivor program, active older adult programming, health education seminars and other social events. Children’s events will continue to include soccer, basketball and summer camp and the new facility will offer parents’ night out, teen leadership programs, swim lessons and swim teams for all ages.

“The $16.4 million project is possible thanks to the partnership of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and a joint-use lease agreement with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA,” said Llerena.

Another point of pride for the YMCA is the environmentally friendly way the facility was constructed, including a solar panel roof to help offset 15 percent of power needs, plumbing fixtures that use less water and the use of locally-sourced building material to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation.

The Spurlino Family YMCA is located at 9650 Old Big Bend Rd. and can be reached at 228-9622. To learn more or sign up for a membership online, visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/gibsonton-south-county/.

Updates are also posted on the facility’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SpurlinoFamilyYMCA.