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UPDATE: Centre hectic as transition begins

New Richmond Area Centre employees work with members in order to make sure their paperwork for transferring their membership is completed.

The transition from the New Richmond Area YMCA operation to a new non-profit organization, entitled the New Richmond Area Centre, is going well.

According to Executive Director Darian Blattner, about 176 members signed up with the new Centre operation in the first day (Thursday, Jan. 1). So far on Friday, about another 100 have signed up. The members include those people and families who have transferred their membership from the YMCA and also those who have chosen to become new members.

"It's going really well," Blattner said during a short break from front desk duties. "It's been busy."

Staff members are greeting people as the enter the Centre, asking them to fill out new paperwork before using the facility. Blattner said its should take people no more than five minutes to completed the necessary form.

"Our goal is to not have people waiting in line," Blattner said.

So far, Centre users have been excited about the change in direction for the recreational and community facility, Blattner said.

"It's been great," he said. "And the staff if all energized and excited."

The Centre employees are all sporting new t-shirts, with the New Richmond Area Centre's new logo on the front. On the back are the words "999 in 2009," the Centre's goal for membership over the coming year.

Centre officials claim that if the facility can maintain that level of membership, the facility can be self sustaining.