Y future discussed
Most of the people who spoke at a public forum regarding the future of the Washington Community Y facilities Monday evening said that the 90-year-old facilities are no longer sufficient to accommodate the Y’s expanding programs.
Many recommendations were given about how the Y can grow into the future. Members of the Y board of directors, along with members of an architecture firm SVPA and construction firm Carl A. Nelson, conducted the meeting and wrote the information on tablets displayed at the front of the Y’s Mens Room. The meeting opened with board vice president Kirk Bailey explaining how the board had decided the facilities needed expansion.
“In 2011 the board was involved in a strategic planning process,” he said. “During the process the board determined the building was the priority. This was based on two major things – the current facility deteriorating and programming and space needs to expand Y services.”
In January 2013, a community survey was done to determine the impact of the Y on the community. A feasibility study identified 50 people in the community to be interviewed on the facilities. SVPA and Carl A. Nelson are now analyzing costs and needs for the current facility. They will provide designs for improvements or a new facility at a different location. While it was discussed briefly, no recommendation was made regarding the location of the Y at the meeting.
During public input, the need for green space, a regulation-sized pool and a walking track were discussed. A video showing a recent swimming meet held at the Y was shown. It showed cramped space for watchers and short lanes for the swimmers. It also showed the swimmers waiting their turn to compete had to be housed in the gym, two floors above the pool.
Architect Vitus Bering said that the current facility is not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.
Board member Dennis Hunger led the discussion regarding the possibility of moving the facility to the site of the proposed Wellness Park. He also asked what could be done with the existing facility if the decision is made to move from the building.
Another meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on March 6 to unveil the designs of a Y based on the suggestions gathered Monday.