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Jax Daily Record Monday, Nov. 4, 201312:00 PM EST

YMCA relocating Arlington Y to Boleros


The YMCA of Florida's First Coast is relocating the Arlington YMCA to the Boleros Cultural Arts Center at 10131 Atlantic Blvd.

Nikos Westmoreland, YMCA vice president of communications, said Monday the Y does not own the Boleros property but has entered into an agreement "through the generosity of the Barco Family to assume operations."

The Barco Family Foundation Inc. owns the property. Westmoreland said many of the dance and performing arts programs offered by Boleros will continue.

Westmoreland said the facility will become a YMCA to serve the Arlington community. The existing Arlington Y occupies a 12,000-square-foot storefront at 9119 Merrill Road. Westmoreland said that lease expires at end of the year.

"The new location on Atlantic will be four times the size and provide us with opportunities to offer new programming in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility that we may or may not be offering elsewhere on the First Coast," he said.

Westmoreland said the first phase of renovations will consist of about $150,000 in contracted construction work as well as some YMCA-performed work with the help of community volunteers.

It will open in December as the Arlington YMCA. Naming opportunities are available.

The city approved two sign permits Friday for a ground sign for "Arlington YMCA" and a wall sign for the YMCA logo on the property. Harbinger is the contractor.

The Arlington YMCA's family program center remains based at 8301 Fort Caroline Road, while the wellness center will relocate from Merrill Road.

Westmoreland said the Fort Caroline Road location is used primarily for day camp and youth sports throughout the year and for other family programs. It includes a gymnasium, a recreation field, a swimming pool and a splash park.

The Boleros Ballroom Facebook page describes Boleros as a multifaceted 40,000-square-foot building including a 9,600-square-foot grand ballroom as well as a dance center and ballet center.

Boleros offered "an escape into a world of rhythm and music; professional dance, and theater education; entertainment for children and adults, relaxation, wellness and much more."

As The Florida Times-Union reported in October 2000, Boleros Dancesport, Health & Wellness Center Inc. opened at the address. Its dance floor, health and beauty spa facilities, separate instruction rooms and retail space bore no resemblance to the building's former use as a furniture store. The center has been available for private functions, too.

As the Times-Union reported, the late Lynda Barco created the vision for the facility. In 2000, Kathy Barco, Lynda Barco's daughter and president of Barco-Duval Engineering Inc., provided tours at the open house.

The Barco Family has long supported the Y. The Barco-Newton Family YMCA branch operates in Fleming Island.

One change so far is that the Alhambra Theatre & Dining cast, which had been rehearsing at Boleros, rehearsed for its current show, South Pacific, at the Players by the Sea theater at Jacksonville Beach.

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