The proposed design for a joint YMCA and Senior Community Center were discussed Tuesday as officials continue discussions on the potential merger. The proposal calls for the YMCA building to be expanded to accommodate a new site for the senior center.
Becky Barnhart said that the conversation for the merger has began prior to her arrival as the Director of the Community Center in November 2020.
The preliminary designs showcase about 11,000 square feet dedicated to the Senior Center with 2,400 square feet of shared space with the Y — excluding the swimming pool and gymnasium. The current senior center facility is 22,000 square feet at 1650 West Second Street.
The proposed plans call for a 13,150-square foot expansion onto the existing YMCA facility on Kentucky Parkway. Part of the renovation will include a kitchen, courtroom, a large auditorium, and game rooms, among other spaces.
John Alexander, CEO/President of the YMCA, said that the facility marks a good design for both parties as it adds and modifies their current facility.
In the YMCA space, Alexander said they will add a computer room, crafts room and a wellness center.
“Having a new wellness center is the goal for the YMCA,” Alexander said.
While the spaces are distinct in their services, Alexander said they hope the two communities mix with each other.
The proposed plans have multiple options — and a corresponding range of cost — dependent on how much the two organizations can fundraise for their respective share of the facility, according to Alexander.
The lowest option — which is able to meet the needs of both parties — costs an estimated $9.5 million. A middle ground price would reach $11 million while the highest would reach about $12.5 million, according to Alexander.
The highest option would offer more space and a larger locker room for the YMCA.
“We have a good, better, best based on what we can find in fundraising,” he said.
At this point, Daviess County Fiscal Court has pledged to donate $2 million toward the facility while the city pledged $2.5 million.
City Manager Nate Pagan said that they actually plan to donate a total of $3 million ARPA funds toward the development, with $500,000 going toward the road work and city efforts needed on the ground side.
In previous meetings, City Commissioners supported the development of a transient boat dock that would cost roughly $9 million, as well as an indoor SportsPlex that does not have an estimated ticket price yet.
Commissioner Mark Castlen noted he would be willing to raise the allocation to the Senior Center in exchange for the large ticket on the dock.
However, Pagan noted that the three projects do not coincide with each other and should not affect the development or spending of one another.
“I don’t think these will have any links to the boat dock or to the SportPlex other than you can only spend a dollar once, but there are funds to be able to do all three,” Pagan said.
Mayor Tom Watson also believes all three projects can be funded without crossover expenses and will likely be bonded at the same time as the SportsPlex development.
“It’s probably going to end up being bonded the same time we do the SportsPlex. That’s the only way we can manage it, even though I’m not real pleased with bond money,” Watson said. “We are committed to helping the Senior Citizen Center and the Y become a real unique setting for children and seniors.”