Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2018

Y capital campaign ‘getting close’

Apr 20, 2018

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


As early as July, the beginning of the end of the long wait for a new building to house the YMCA of Washington County in Washington may be in sight as initial plans are to break ground and begin grading work on the[space][space]West Fifth Street and North D Avenue.

Interim Y director Amy Schulte said this morning that the Y Board is finished with the design phase of the project and was able to get a new estimate of the cost of the project, which she said had declined. Instead of $9.3 million, the new cost was $9.2 million. She said the original plans to break ground in summer 2018 are on schedule and she believes grading work on the site will begin in July.

“Our fundraising is at $4 million,” she said. “We’re really excited about that. We have just submitted a grant application to the Washington County Riverboat Foundation for $3.5 million. If we are successful and receive the grant, we will be at $7.9 million. We are looking at rewriting an Enhance Iowa grant for $700,000.”

if both grants are successful, she said that would leave the Y within about $600,000 of the goal.

Schulte also said that the building at 115 S. Second St., which the Y purchased about 10 years ago, is on the market, and said that the Y has accepted an offer on the building, which she hopes to close on May 30. She said the funds from the sale will go into the capital campaign fund. She said the only program being held in the building currently is the Tae Kwon Do program, which she said will be moved to the main building.

‘We are getting very close,” Schulte said. “We have the potential to borrow funding to get the project started if we need to, but I think our goal would be to not do that. It would put us a little behind starting the second phase.”

She said the Y Board has already begun looking at design concepts for the second phase of the project, which includes a pool.

In May 2017 the YMCA of Washington County Board unveiled a new design for a building to replace the existing 92-year-old building located in the 100 block of East Main Street. A feasibility study on the facility found program spaces were too small for the growing membership and that there were several structural problems with the building. According to the survey, the building itself is structurally sound, but not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. The Y Board determined it would be more cost-effective to build a new building than to try to renovate the existing building.

The Y Board started a fundraising campaign called ‘Y — For a Better Us,’ to pay for the construction. The phased building plan is to complete a Phase 1 building with a $3 million Phase 2 addition as soon as fundraising efforts make it possible. The building’s design can also be expanded to include a third phase as well as other future expansions as needed. The plan is downsized from a previous $10.4 million plan.

Phase 1 of the project includes a full-size high school gymnasium that includes a spectator area, wellness center, two exercise rooms, youth room, and senior gaming area. The entrance will be on West Sixth Street and North D Avenue. The entrance was designed this way due to concerns about children having to cross the busy West Third to get to the facility.

A six-lane swimming pool is planned for Phase 2 of the project. While the Y board and staff understands the need for a pool, Schulte said in a previous interview, the result of input from the community was for the pool to be in the second phase of the project.

More information on the project can be found online at www.buildwashingtonymca.com.

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