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Gym members: The hardwood floor at the Dodge YMCA is on crack

The Brooklyn Paper
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Soccer players at the Dodge YMCA are demanding that the sports club fix its busted hardwood gym — the result of an unrepaired six-year-old ceiling leak that’s made part of the court unplayable.

“They’re charging us full price for membership, but they’re giving us half a gym,” said Jake Flemmer, 33, who plays soccer on Monday and Thursdays, but has considered finding a new place to play ball.

“Soccer is the reason I joined the gym,” added Fazl Aljahmee, 22, a longtime member. “The floor is a liability.”

The glitzy Atlantic Avenue facility, whose lush amenities include a pool and sauna, became instantly popular with neighborhood residents after it opened in 2005 in the first two floors of a building between Court Street and Boerum Place.

But the gym’s ceiling started leaking after heavy rainstorms because of a defective green roof, and the floorboards warped, rendering the gym unplayable.

The YMCA replaced those damaged planks in May, after the building’s owner installed a new roof.

“We thought we were good,” said Elizabeth Toledo, the gym’s executive director.

But then Hurricane Irene hit.

The ceiling started leaking again, and the newly installed boards buckled and cracked.

In response, the YMCA has cordoned off the area with cones — and sometimes closes half of the gym floor altogether.

Members who pay $65 a month said they’re at wits end.

“Why didn’t the Y take care of it sooner?” said Antoine Saccone, 24. “Eventually its going to catch up on them.”

Toledo said the YMCA is working to fix the floor as quickly as possible.

Building owners David and Jed Walentas declined to comment.

Posted 12:09 am, September 19, 2011
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Reasonable discourse

Josef from downtown bklyn says:
I applaud the Brooklyn Paper for covering this matter. One thing I'd like to emphasize is how important it is to remember that in addition to soccer players, this gym is used by numerous other members of the YMCA community - programs include adult basketball, volleyball, and zumba; teen programs; youth lessons in basketball, soccer, and tennis; and even birthday parties.

The conduct of the building owners, who cravenly refused to comment on a problem entirely of their own making, is appalling. I suppose one should not expect more from purveyors of overpriced, shoddily constructed "luxury" apartments, but their negligence and foot-dragging is putting community members at risk. I would have thought they'd be embarrassed to artificially inflate their operating profits by deferring needed maintenance and repairs at the expense of the safety of their neighbors, but apparently they're without shame.
Sept. 19, 2011, 9:22 am
J.P. Franks from Prospect Heights says:
Clearly, David and Jed Walentas are to blame. This is absolutely unacceptable. They are both endangering the safety and ruining the enjoyment of YMCA members, all so that they can make more money.

They should keep in mind that they can lose everything, should someone get hurt due to their negligent maintenance of the roof. The YMCA management has been doing the best they can to protect its members, but the situation David and Jed Walentas have created is still a dangerous hazard, and a lawsuit against them would certainly be successful. Doing nothing about a leak for the better part of 5 or 6 years is gross negligence... I can almost smell the personal injury attorneys circling...
Sept. 19, 2011, 10:38 am
I want my MTV from brooklyn says:
The Dodge YMCA also banned MTV and VH1 from the TVs in front of the treadmills and elliptical machines. True story! All music channels, including CMT (country music), were removed from the playlist and gym members can no longer watch music videos while exercising. When asked why, Dodge staff said because there were some offensive videos being shown (on MTV, VH1 and CMT) and there were complaints. So now all gym members get no music. All true.

It's otherwise a great inexpensive place to exercise, but now not to music.
Sept. 22, 2011, 1:11 pm
Josef from downtown bkllyn says:
Mr. Franks: well said.
Sept. 23, 2011, 1:18 pm
Chuck from South Brooklyn says:
One the one hand, the Dodge Y sucks. On the other, soccer indoors? Really?
Jan. 10, 2012, 5:19 am

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