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story.lead_photo.caption The Firley YMCA at 525 Ellis Blvd. remains closed due to tornado damage. It expects to reopen at some point this summer. Photo by Greta Cross / News Tribune.

Jefferson City residents who are "Firley faithful" shouldn't have to wait much longer to work out again at their favorite YMCA.

The Jefferson City Area YMCA released a statement via email that the organization hopes to reopen the Firley Y on Ellis Boulevard this summer, depending on when construction finishes.

The Firley Y has been closed since it received heavy damage in the May 22 tornado. However, the hope is to open the Y and the Firley Outdoor Pool by the end of July. An official date will be announced once the building is ready for members.

Jefferson City Area YMCA CEO Craig Lammers said the reopening date is contingent on when the contracting work is completed.

The tornado caused a wall on the west side of the building to fall, which also allowed wind into the building, causing some further damage inside. Additionally, siding on the back of the building and several windows were damaged.

Three HVAC units from the top of the building were blown off and landed near the outdoor pool. The pool had some other damage and debris as well.

Three members of the YMCA's custodial staff were inside the building during the storm, Lammers said, but one had a scanner with him and they were able to seek shelter in the basement. They were unharmed.

Lammers said they have already started working on repairs to the building. A temporary wall has been put in place on the west side, new HVAC units have been ordered to possibly be installed next week, and the drop ceiling is almost finished. Part, if not all, of the roof may eventually be replaced.

The Knowles YMCA on Stadium Boulevard also received some damage from trees and other debris but remains open, as does the West YMCA on Amazonas Drive. The Child Development Center next to the Firley Y received some exterior damage and damage to the outdoor play structure but reopened the Tuesday after the tornado once the power had been restored.

"We're blessed to have two other buildings that members can use," Lammers said.

Members of the Jefferson City Area YMCA can also use the Southern Boone location in Ashland.

Lammers said he and the rest of his team have received a lot of support from the community in the weeks following the tornado.

"The outpouring of support from members, volunteers and their willingness to help has been really inspiring for us and our staff," he said. "And our staff, we really pulled together and started to work to get Knowles and the Child Development Center open. It's really been a team effort."

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