Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 16, 2017

Y planning meeting postponed

By David Hotle | Jan 06, 2014
Few people braved the weather today to work out at the Y. The low turnout indicated that turnout to a scheduled forum tonight may also be low.

With subzero temperatures sweeping the area prompting people to remain home, the Washington Community Y announced today that the community forum to plan the future of Y facilities has been postponed from tonight to Monday, Jan. 13.
Y director Becky Harkema said that the meeting was postponed because the feeling is that the weather would keep community members from turning out. She also said that for the forum, architect Vitus Bearing would have had to come from West Des Moines and engineer Dan Culp would have had to come from Burlington. She said the postponement of the first meeting would have little impact on the Y’s schedule to move ahead on facility needs.
“The only thing it may do is move the February meeting back a week, or it might still stay on the main date,” Harkema said. “We will know from the architects and construction engineers.”
The initial meeting was designed to gather public input on what the Washington community wanted to see the Y do to address facility concerns. Among the questions the planning team hopes to answer are where the facility should be located and what it should include. If the community opts for a new facility to be built, the question of what would be done with the existing facility is also being asked of community members.
After determining the direction the community wants to go with the new Y facility, the architects will draw designs based on public input. A second meeting is now scheduled for Feb. 27.
Harkema said that the forum will include opening remarks from Y vice president Kirk Bailey and thoughts from community members Ed Weeks and Luke Horak. SVPA Architects will give a presentation on space needs of the Y. A building assessment from Carl A. Nelson and Co. is also on the agenda. The major discussion issues will include what location the community wants to see the Y in and what to do with the current facility.
During a planning session earlier this year, the Y board identified facility needs as a priority for the facility. A community survey had been done in January 2013 to assess the impact of the Y. The American City Bureau was hired to conduct a feasibility study to identify major gift support and leadership for a capital campaign. A developmental study advisory committee was created for this purpose, made up of 11 community members, which created a list of 50 people to be interviewed during the process. Results were released in September.

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