BILLINGS, MT -- Family-friendly changing rooms are becoming more popular as health club members demand more privacy, but in a down economy, many clubs have not had the resources for locker room renovations.

However, the Billings Family YMCA, Billings, MT, received a gift from a local civic group to add new family changing rooms, which were recently unveiled and made available to members.

The Billings Breakfast Exchange Club gave the Y a $5,000 grant to add private changing rooms in the facility’s first floor locker room. Construction work on the rooms began last December.

The rooms were designed to make it more convenient for parents with children of the opposite sex to help them change, Y officials told local media.

“Parents with children of opposite sexes can have more privacy, and it offers more privacy to the members,” Paul Manning, YMCA CEO, told the Billings Gazette. “For instance, with me, I’ve got a son and a daughter. They’re too young to be on their own. This way, it allows them to step into the room and change. I can monitor and be responsible for my own children without any worries.”

The new changing rooms also are directly accessible from the Y’s family swimming pool. And one of the rooms was built a bit larger to accommodate those with special needs, Manning said.