About Us

The Core’s Story

The Core began as a YMCA which opened in September, 2000. A group of volunteers and donors committed to improving the quality of life in Allen County joined forces to renovate and expand the old Allen County High School into a full recreational center. With the support of the Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation and many other cheerful givers, the current 40,000 sq.ft. facility was constructed under the oversight of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and a local board of directors. The mission of the YMCA was to help people of all ages and income levels grow in spirit, mind and body.


In 2014, the YMCA was re-branded as “the Core”. Core- meaning “the most central and important part of something” was selected as a name because it represented the vision of the organization. We want to make a difference in the lives of people and in the community by supporting the values of fitness, family, faith and fellowship.


We seek to support residents of Allen County in their efforts to grow and thrive. Learn more about our facilities, location and history.

The Core’s History

The Core’s facility was originally Allen County High School opening in 1941. After the consolidation of Scottsville & Allen County Schools in the early 1970s, the facility continued serving Allen County as a middle school and primary center. In 1998, the Allen County Board of Education made the property available for the purpose of becoming a full facility YMCA. Today, the history of the facility and its strong connection to Allen County is still visible with the original inscriptions over the front entrance and the senior pictures of graduating classes lining the halls.


On Oct. 19, 2000, Steve Turner shared a vision for the facility during the official ribbon cutting ceremony. Today, those Core values of Fitness, Family, Faith and Fellowship are ever present.

The Core’s Staff


Executive Director

Ernie Stafford is the biggest supporter of the Allen County community. Ernie has spent many years in service to the community in the school system, and coaching many sports teams. He devotes his life to helping others, whether they ask for it or not. Ernie serves the community in many ways, and has helped many of Scottsville’s youth stay on a good path. Never afraid of hard work, Ernie will help with any projects, and supports his management staff with any event or need they have. The CORE benefits from his sense of purpose and his desire to help make an impact in the Scottsville community. Ernie is a graduate of Allen County High School.


Sports Coordinator, Programs Coordinator, & Personal Trainer

Jon Thomas has been a familiar face around the CORE for the past five years. He has worked in almost every area of the Core including Lifeguard, Front Desk Attendant, & Group Fitness just to name a few. Growing up he always had a love for sports but especially basketball. Jon Thomas is eager to help the kids of our community develop the physical, mental, and social benefits that participating in youth sports has to offer. Jon Thomas graduated in 2020 from WKU with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He also obtained a Certificate of Applied Data Analytics.


Membership Coordinator

Erin is an Indiana native but has come to call Scottsville home. She is a 2001 graduate of Allen County Scottsville High School You might have seen her at the front desk, because that is where she first started her employment at The Core before stepping into this role as Membership Director. She loves the Core and what it stands for. Being a member of the facility has given her firsthand insights to the many programs and classes that the Core has to offer. Erin has had many years of customer service and has the desire to share these programs with the Allen County community & to help grow into the future.


Childcare Coordinator

Jessica brings a great knowledge of camps and recreational programs to our CORE family. She has worked at different Girl Scout Camps across the country for 7 years. She also worked for 3 years at the Bowling Green Parks & Rec as part of the Senior Recreational Staff. With Jessica’s calm demeanor and bubbly personality she is loved by everyone that she meets.  Jessica is a Warren Central graduate and a 2016 graduate from Eastern Kentucky University.


Childcare Coordinator, Human Resource Coordinator

Rebekah Gardner has worked for the CORE since it was the YMCA of Scottsville & Allen County. She was hired in 1998 as a Human Resource Manager before the facility opened the doors. During her time at the CORE, Rebekah’s strong sense of purpose and ability to build consensus among other leaders helped strengthen the CORE community, and continues to support the CORE’s efforts. Rebekah’s leadership has been equally recognized by her peers and co-workers. Rebekah Gardner is a Western Kentucky University graduate and an Allen County High School graduate.


Aquatics Coordinator

Keith moved to Scottsville in 2017 after serving in the United States Marine Corps from 2001-2017. He joined the CORE staff shortly after where he has held many different positions. He has been a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, & lifeguard. Keith is eager and honored to be offered such an opportunity to become a more integral part of the team.