We love the new Downtown GR Y for working out. The cardio theatre is fabulous, the track around the outer edge of the 3rd floor offers a great view while you are running or walking. I love the adults only locker rooms, when it is enforced (see below). Tthere are also "girls" locker rooms for females of any age. "boys" lockers for males of any age and family locker rooms, but the main lockers are adult-only. Gotta love that. But there are problems. The steam rooms are non-functional more than not and the showers are frequently closed for repainting. Since this branch only opened in June 2005, the paint really shouldn't be peeling so badly already. Initially there were problems getting the pools open, but that was resolved. Our biggest beef, however, has been the childcare. What a poorly planned fiasco!! An insider told me that the powers that be at the Y truly believed that very few families with small children would use the downtown location. The child care area is entirely too small. They expect children from 3 months to 12 years old (!) to share the same small space. Ridiculous. Often there are not enough staff and those that are present are not friendly and don't seem to care too much about the kids. It's more of a child storage area than anything. One not-very-busy evening, I arrived to pick up my children only to find my 8-month-old and my autistic 4-year-old both had very full diapers that had clearly been that way a while. The 4-year-old's pants and socks(!) were soaked in urine. They gave him a bunch of juice, but never bothered to change him in 1.5 hours. (And yes, they were informed beforehand that although he is 4 he is not potty-trained due to his autism.)
Also, they have had a problem with enforcement of the adults-only and single-gender only policies in the locker rooms. Despite the availability of the family locker rooms, mothers still bring their sons into the women's locker room and dads bring their girls into the men's. So they have children of the opposite gender in adult-only, single-gender only locker rooms - can these people not read? And the staff do very little to enforce this policy except make the signs bigger.
For exercise we love the downtown branch, but for family-friendliness we prefer the Visser Y in Grandville (even though we live near downtown). 5 stars for workout, two stars for childcare and policy enforcement.