-For The Herald-
After five years of waiting, the citizens of Sumner and its surrounding communities will finally see progress in the proposed YMCA project.
The Sumner city council voted in favor of paying $5 million for the YMCA. Randy Hynek and Nancy Dumas voted against it.
“The community has really been asking for this and our research shows that there is a gap in services that the Y can fill,” YMCA spokeswoman Michelle LaRue said.
With the simultaneous availability of several parcels of land near the 166th Avenue exit off SR 410, the new YMCA could break ground as early as spring 2014.
The YMCA is expected to be 80,000 to 100,000 square feet and feature two swimming pools, two gyms, cardiovascular and strength training equipment, a track, an internet café, a child watch area, a teen center, multipurpose rooms, an arts center, and a community room.
The large facility will “allow ample parking and be very accessible from freeway,” Larue said.
Overall, the YMCA will cost between $25 million and $35 million, LaRue said.
The YMCA has received $7.75 million in community donations for a YMCA in Sumner and is seeking continued philanthropic support to reach its $10 million goal.
Originally, Sumner was expected to pay $2.5 million, but with the change in location, the amount they will pay has doubled.
“I’ve been working harder on this project,” Mayor Dave Enslow said. “I think it’s worth it.”
Although the financial support from the city has doubled, citizens will not see any tax increases as a result. Instead, the sale of the Sumner Meadows Fold Course will help pay for the YMCA.
In Sumner and the surrounding communities, there has been a great demand for a new YMCA.
“We know 20,000 people have been wanting to join a YMCA for the last five years, and can’t wait to start serving this community through swim lessons, youth programs, art classes, and teen programs,” Bob Ecklund, president and CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, said in a press release.
In a marketing and needs assessment, the YMCA found that people in and around Sumner needed these facilities.
Currently, the only swimming facility in Sumner is at Sumner High School.
“The YMCA brings lots of opportunities for people of any age to be healthier, and it’s a community resource that we have long wanted here in Sumner,” Enslow said. “Now, we get all of this plus better access for Sumner residents than the old site offered. It’s very exciting.”