Several dozen community members gathered Wednesday to kick off construction of a 45,000-square-foot YMCA facility, Monroe County’s second YMCA location on Innovation Court and West Vernal Pike.
Bloomington Economic Development Corporation president Ron Walker says he hopes to market the new ‘Y’ as part of a business park on the city’s northwest side. With its proximity to a planned hospital complex and existing businesses, Walker hopes billing the area as a business park will give Bloomington an edge in attracting new companies.
“If we’re able to attract employment to those sites you could see literally hundreds of new employees, maybe thousands in some cases,” Walker says. “Adding the new YMCA could impact hundreds of households in the new area. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be successful, but we think it’s going to give us an advantage that we currently have when we’re able to say you’re in a business park.”
Miles Kanne, who co-chaired the YMCA’s financial campaign, says the current location is overcrowded. While Kanne says the YMCA has raised about $7.5 million toward the facility, they are still $2.5 million short of their goal.
“We’re looking at probably anywhere from $10 million to 13 million dollars,” he says. “Some of it will be dependent upon how much money we can raise because there are certain things we can do in the building that if we don’t have the money we can cut them out, but we’d rather have them in the project.”
The new YMCA will include an indoor aquatic area, wellness cardio center, and a childcare center. Completion is expected in late fall of 2015.