The YMCA of Jefferson County, Wash., is revisiting a campaign to upgrade gym and pool facilities at its locations after nearly a decade.
The Make Waves campaign — the goal of which was to develop a 56,000-square-foot facility at a budget of $24 million — stalled in 2015 when a feasibility study determined it was financially out of reach both for the community and the organization.
Now moving forward once more, the YMCA has reduced the scope of the improvements, with the intention of keeping the existing gym facilities at the Jefferson County Mountain View campus and replacing the pool.
Jessie Wedmore, branch manager of the Jefferson County YMCA, told The Leader, “Instead of the initial plans for an all-new facility, we started considering what we could reuse from the existing buildings. We thought we might be able to design around it and cut the renovation costs by as much as half.”
However, plans to design around the existing structure are complicated by necessary heating system upgrades, which would require obtaining access to the current system beneath the pool and gym. This has caused estimated costs to rise toward $30 million.
The YMCA intends to present the revised plans to the community within the next few months, along with preliminary designs, renderings and cost estimates.
According to Len Borchers, CEO of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, “The Y will be conducting a Capital Campaign for partial funding of the project and is continuing to work with our community partners to develop an overall funding strategy. We’ll still be depending on outside donors for about half of the cost, although we don’t know the exact numbers yet.”
The 45,000-square-foot facility is expected to continue use of the existing cafeteria space as well as the gym, while replacing the existing pool with a full-length lap pool and a therapy pool that will allow for expanded programming. The YMCA hopes to start construction in winter 2021 and reopen that spring.
In the meantime, said Wedmore, the YMCA at Port Townsend is “still here, providing safety-net programming both on-site and as far away as Brinnon, for members and non-members alike.”