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Bob Sierra Y readies for gymnastic celebration

Visitors can dive into a bounce house, get their faces painted, eat hamburgers, hot dogs and cake, listen to music and watch performances by the Top Flight Gymnastics Team during a free community open house from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Bob Sierra North Tampa YMCA, 4015 Ragg Road.

The event follows a ceremony at 10 a.m. recognizing the award of a LEED Gold certification for the 12,000-square-foot gymnasium, which was completed in 2014. The LEED — Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design — Gold certification is the second-highest ranking of a building's energy and resource-saving design by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Visitors are welcome to tour the gymnasium, try out some of the pre-school and AAI (American Athletic Incorporated) equipment and learn of the services available at the Y.

Along with burgers, dogs and cake, visitors will get a free shaved-ice treat from Kona Ice; yogurt from Gogo Squeeze and bottled water from Beef O'Brady's.

The LEED rating system recognizes buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Though the YMCA learned of the award a few months ago, the staff decided to wait to have the dedication on National Gymnastics Day, said Lalita Llerena, spokeswoman for the Y.

During the ceremony, the Y will recognize its board member and longtime donor, Cy Spurlino.

"He's the one who encouraged us to make it environmentally friendly,'' Llerena said.

The Bob Sierra North Tampa YMCA Gymnastics Center achieved LEED Gold certification for features that go easy on the environment. Its grounds were designed to reduce storm water run-off; landscaping demands little water; efficient sinks and toilets reduce water use by 30 percent; and solar panels reduce energy demand by more than 20 percent.

Times staff