Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2017

Y board reveals building plans

By David Hotle | May 18, 2017


YMCA of Washington County board president David Mitchell said the board had thought long and hard before moving ahead with the plan that would include a swimming pool in the second phase of the project rather than the first.

On Tuesday, the Y Board unveiled its plan for the construction of a new building to replace the current 93-year-old building located at 121 E. Main St. According to the plans for the $9 million first phase, a six-lane swimming pool is not included until the later phase.

“Swimming has always been an important part of the Y and our board takes not putting the pool in Phase 1 very seriously,” Mitchell said. “We want to get to Phase 2 to complete that as soon as possible.”

Mitchell said the existing pool, installed in 1924, is aged and the Y has put in thousands of dollars to keep it operational, and still not solved all the problems. He said the board is very worried about its longevity.

“Some citizens asked us to consider building the pool first, instead of the gym and multi-purpose rooms,” Y interim CEO Amy Schulte said. “We looked at that possibility.”

She said the operating loss of a stand-alone pool was calculated to be $100,000 per year. Based on the projected costs and data, the Y board decided to include the pool in Phase 2.

Because the Y intends to keep the existing pool open until the completion of Phase 2 of the project, there is no plan for what will happen to the existing Y building after the new building is constructed. The Y pool is the only indoor pool in Washington. After Phase 2, the board hopes to find someone who can use the existing building, preferring not to tear it down.

“We conducted a community usage study to determine which program space served the most Y members,” Schulte said. “The program spaces in the Phase 1 building reflect the results of this study. They will allow the Y to continue to offer the majority of our current programming and serve the greatest number of Y members.”

More information on the project, including a list of frequently asked questions, can be found online at www.buildwashingtonymca.com.

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