Female muslim members are concerned the enclosure will not offer enough privacy to accommodate their religious beliefs because the new pool is partially visible from the street and common areas.
"I was expecting it to be a little more covered than this," said Amina Sheik Mohamed, the news agency reported.
A group from the United Women's East African Support Team recently met with YMCA staff to determine if the new facility will offer enough privacy for Muslim women who want to swim. In the meantime, however, the women are welcome to attend a special class scheduled at night once the gym has cleared of other patrons.
This is not the first time the issue has caused some controversy. The Y opened its old pool to the women after hours beginning in 2012, a decision that some suggested was discriminating to non-Muslim members of the Y.
However, offering special classes to the Muslim community isn't unheard of. The topic has been on the table for some time. One such example where aquatics facilities are finding success with special programs is the Fairfax County Park Authority in Virginia. Aquatics International even awarded it a 2011 Aquatics International Best of Aquatics award based, in part, on its offering of such classes. Similarly, SWIMKids USA, which earned a Best of Aquatics nod in 2014, also provides classes at special times for the area's large Muslim population. And some firms, like Starfish Aquatics Institute, even have changed some of their methods to accommodate the needs of Muslim class members. Read More