New building in works for community Y
After two public forums and a coming fundraising drive to fund a project, the Washington Community Y Board of Directors is seeking to build a new building at a new location and is seeking to keep all programs together in the new building.
On Monday, the board unanimously voted to move ahead with plans to construct a new, larger building to replace the existing Y, now located at 121 E. Main St. Y Director Becky Harkema said that due to feedback from the community during a recent forum, the board hopes to house all programs into the new building. She said this would include a racquetball court, day care facilities and a 6-lane pool. She said the expanded plan will require more than the $9.6 million discussed at the forum, although she is not sure how much more. She said that she has spoken with the architects in charge of the planning and hopes to have an estimate later this week.
“The community forums were very beneficial in helping the board make the decision,” Harkema said. “That has been great input.”
She said there has been no discussion on what will be done with the building that the Y now resides in. Harkema also said there isn’t enough space for the new building to be built on the site of the existing facility. The location of the new building has not been determined.
Harkema said that one possibility that has been discussed is to house the building on part of the land that the City of Washington has established for the proposed Wellness Park. She said that she doesn’t know when the decision will be made.
“What we are going to do is fundraise for this project at whatever goal that is,” Harkema said.
She said that fundraising for the project will begin in May for the full project and the Y will have contingency plans in case the money can’t be raised. She said that the Y does plan to apply for a grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation for the project. Harkema said that she hopes to know the outcome of the fundraising by the end of the year.
More community forums to discuss the project are being planned, but no dates have been set. Harkema also said the tour of YMCAs at Indianola and Des Moines are still planned for March 28.