The YMCA fitness center will be remodeled as part of the Capital Campaign. All new cardio equipment will be installed and planners are discussing the best approach for maximizing and increasing the floor space in the center.
IRON MOUNTAIN – As the Y continues to flourish and partnerships grow, officials feel it is time to take the next step to secure the future. With membership mushrooming and the near 50-year old building and pool in need of immediate attention, the YMCA Board of Directors decided it was time to launch a Capital Campaign.
“Our pool is literally falling apart,” Center Director Jonathan Ringel said. “We’ve had more unplanned closures in the past six months than the first six years since we took over its operation. Much of the pool’s mechanical and pumping system is simply beyond repair. A complete overhaul is needed, and needed quickly.”
Anticipating the situation with the aging pool, the YMCA Board of Directors went to work almost two years ago to conduct study, research and due diligence to develop a phased future development plan to transform the current YMCA into a facility for the future.
The full scope of the transformation carries a nearly $8 million price tag, a little less than half of that earmarked for the potential addition of a fieldhouse with indoor running track. The first phase of the master development plan, and the focus of this year’s Capital Campaign, addresses only the current building.
This first phase will allow the YMCA to completely re-do the pool, mechanical systems and locker rooms while giving the entire building a facelift inside and out and making upgrades in HVAC efficiencies to current modern standards. All new fitness equipment is also part of the plan.
The cost of the first phase is around $2.5 million. A quiet campaign conducted over the past year and half has resulted in nearly $2 million in private and corporate donations. The launch of the public campaign tonight will be for a final $650,000.
“I’m very confident that our community will rally, like it has in the past, to help us reach this goal and begin work later this year,” Ringel said.
While the addition of the fieldhouse isn’t part of the first phase, Y officials are prepared to push forward, should funds become available.
Completing this first phase will put us in prime position for the addition of a fieldhouse, when that day arrives,” Ringel said. “But it’s important to note that because we have the full project scope on paper, we can quickly move ahead to the other phases, should funding support that desire.”
The YMCA receives no public tax money and pledged not to take on any debt for Capital work. To that end, the entire project solely depends on the support of community donors.
“Our campaign slogan is What’s Your Y,” Ringel said. “Not only does it allow us to share our story, but it’s also a question for our community. We’re going to build what the community wants us to build and is willing to support. I’m confident we’ll rally together for this final $650,000 to do what we need to do to this aging building and ensure our future here.”
The YMCA studied the costs of building a new facility versus repairing and expanding the existing Community Center. The repair and expansion of the former Community Center building represented the best investment for the Community. It also has the advantage of being easily accessible by the youth population, it is centrally located, and it carries on the vision of the original Crystal Lake Master Plan from the late 1960s of the intended use of this location as a recreational facility.
“This project will allow the YMCA to become 90 percent new for 60 percent of the cost,” Ringel said of opting to stay in the Community Center.
While the new pool will certainly be the most expensive component of this first phase, the entire building will look transformed, including the fitness center. And the modernization of the pool mechanicals and building HVAC systems will help reduce operating costs for the Y, which officially takes ownership of the community center building from Dickinson County in November.
The YMCA has been leasing the building from the county since opening in 2010. Come November, the Y will purchase the building for $1.
Tonight’s kickoff celebration at Pine Grove Country Club begins the public portion of the Capital Campaign, which will run through June. Construction and remodeling is expected to begin later this year. The pool will most likely be closed during the summer of 2019, with a grand re-opening set for the Fall of 2019.
Donations to the Capital Campaign can be made as five-year pledges, payable in full, monthly, quarterly or annually. All donors who pledge $500 or more will receive permanent recognition in the building. To make a donation call 774-4076 or visit www.WhatsYourY.org.