Since opening on Race Street in 1998, the Kennett Area Y has become a bustling, and often crowded, home to more than 11,000 children, families and adults in the Kennett community. Now, the Kennett Y is about to unveil a long-awaited facility expansion and upgrade during a weekend of celebrations on Sept. 6, 7 and 8.

"We want the whole community to discover the new Kennett Y," said Doug Nakashima, executive director of the Kennett YMCA. "People who haven't been here in a while will be excited to see how much we've grown."

The Y will be open for free activities and tours on Sept. 7 and 8. A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. will mark the official reopening, and key capital campaign donors will be recognized for their leadership and contributions.

The Kennett Y has increased in size by 25 percent and will include a zero-entry, warm-water pool; a family activity center; a half-gym and basketball court; a wellness studio; an arts studio with pottery kiln; and space for individuals who are new to exercise to build confidence and learn about healthy living.

"The Y is the heart of our Kennett community," said Nakashima. "With these exciting renovations and improvements, we will have the space and resources to serve even more children and families in our community."

The Kennett Y offers health and wellness programs, child care, swim lessons and afterschool programs, and provides financial assistance.

A $3.25 million capital campaign was started in 2011 under the leadership of W. Thomas Musser, president of the Tri-M Group, to fund the expansion project. Key campaign donors with gifts of $250,000 and above include Exelon Generation, Longwood Foundation, Aaron Martin, the Tri-M Group, LLC and Michael and Kathy Walker.

"Thanks to the leadership of Tom Musser, the vision of our Board of Advisors and the generous support of our donors, the new Kennett Y is a reality," Nakashima said.