Supervisors table YMCA funding vote

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The Washington County Board of Supervisors tabled a request Tuesday from the YMCA of Washington County to fund $20,000 over two years toward a new Y building in Washington.

Y officials reported that the fund for the new building has $7.9 million toward the $9.2 million for the project and the plan is in July to request $900,000 from Enhance Iowa, the state?s Community Attraction and Tourism grant program. The new building is slated to be built in the City of Washington?s wellness park. The Y promises the new building will be a ?hub for sports tournaments and fitness activities.?

Recently the Y was awarded $3.5 million by the Washington County Riverboat Foundation for the project. Y interim CEO Amy Schulte told The Journal in April she expected to break ground at the building site located on West Fifth Street and North D Avenue this summer.

Previously, the supervisors had rejected a request for funding for the Y project, which was requested as part of an Enhance Iowa, formerly Vision Iowa, grant to show community support.

In May 2017, the YMCA of Washington County Board unveiled a new design for a building to replace the existing 92-year-old building located in the 100 block of East Main Street. A feasibility study on the facility found program spaces were too small for the growing membership and that there were several structural problems with the building. According to the survey, the building itself is structurally sound, but not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. The Y Board determined it would be more cost-effective to build a new building than to try to renovate the existing building.

The Y Board started a fundraising campaign called ?Y ? For a Better Us,? to pay for the construction. The phased building plan is to complete a Phase 1 building with a $3 million Phase 2 addition as soon as fundraising efforts make it possible. The building?s design can also be expanded to include a third phase as well as other future expansions as needed. The plan is downsized from a previous $10.4 million plan.

Phase 1 of the project includes a full-size high school gymnasium - with spectator area - wellness center, two exercise rooms, youth room and senior gaming area. The entrance will be on West Sixth Street and North D Avenue, which would allieviate concerns of children having to cross the busy West Third to get to the facility.

A six-lane swimming pool is planned for Phase 2 of the project. While the Y board and staff understands the need for a pool, Schulte said in a previous interview, the result of input from the community was for the pool to be in the second phase of the project.

More information on the project can be found online at