News

Community YMCA closer to reality at meeting

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

Excitement was in the air Sept. 16 at the Sumner Fire Station as visions of a community YMCA began to take shape.

Members of the Sumner staff, City Council and Community Center Task Force met to get the latest facts, figures and fundamentals for action to locate a YMCA facility in the area.

City Administrator John Doan and Bob Ecklund, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Tacoma and Pierce County, gave details of the joint feasibility study, which the cities of Sumner and Bonney Lake funded.

Ecklund told the gathering he’d never seen a study that reflected such a high demand for a YMCA.

Nearly 900 people were contacted in the survey in the Bonney Lake, Sumner and surrounding area.

Mayor Dave Enslow said, “At the end of the process the community will own this and that is a great thing.”

According to Ecklund, the study indicates a strong desire for facilities in both Bonney Lake and Sumner, “that are not competing, but complimenting each other.”

The larger facility may be located in Bonney Lake that could support ball fields.

“The advantage on the hill is larger pieces of property are available,” Ecklund said. “Sumner does not have land for large pieces.”

According to Doan, the best spot in Sumner may the QFC site off Main Street East and Parker Road.

Doan listed the advantages of the QFC site is it needs to be redeveloped, it is available, it is large enough and the infrastructure is in place. One of the disadvantages is it is expensive.

Money will be the key to the entire adventure.

Raising money from the private sector will be the next step for the two communities.

Funds for the facilities will come from a combination of cities, private contributions and the YMCA.

The cost of a YMCA ranges from $8 to $9 million for a 30,000 square foot facility and could be less if it involves a remodel. A larger 50,000 square foot facility, which could be located in Bonney Lake, might run about $15 million.

Reach Dennis Box at dbox@courierherald.com or 360-802-8209.

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