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Published: Wednesday, 7/23/2008

Construction under way on West Toledo YMCA

The new West Toledo YMCA, represented by this model, will be three times the size of the existing West Toledo facility. The new West Toledo YMCA, represented by this model, will be three times the size of the existing West Toledo facility.

Construction has begun on the new 60,000-square-foot West Toledo YMCA on Tremainsville Road.

The $8.3 million facility will include centers for cardio and strength training, aerobics, group cycling, child care, and teen activities.

It will feature a large gymnasium, an auditorium with space for 800, and a 10,000-square-foot aquatic center with six lanes, a family area, water slide, and sun deck.

The facility will be about three times the size of the existing West Toledo YMCA, which, at 55 years old, is the Greater Toledo YMCA's oldest facility, said Robert Alexander, chief executive officer and president of the YMCA of Greater Toledo.

"We want to build a new Y for the future," Mr. Alexander said. "There's just a lot of great features."

The facility will be built in partnership with Toledo Public Schools and Start High School. The high school and the YMCA will be attached by a covered walkway and will share an auditorium and gymnasium.

The partnership will enhance physical education and athletic offerings at the school.

In addition, the YMCA plans to offer teen activities and leadership training for students. The arrangement may also provide valuable early employment opportunities, said Stephanie Dames, senior vice president of development for the YMCA.

"We very often give kids their first jobs," she said. "The students can come right over. A lot of them will probably be staff at our pool."

The shared auditorium, which remains from the former Start High School facilities, will be unique to the Greater Toledo YMCA in its size. It will allow the YMCA to host public concerts and possibly develop a small theater group, Mr. Alexander said.

The current West Toledo Family YMCA is the largest in the Toledo area, serving about 8,000 members. YMCA officials expect membership will grow to as high as 15,000 when construction is complete in the summer of 2009, Mr. Alexander said.

During construction the West Toledo Family YMCA will remain open and fully operational. When construction is complete, it will be demolished, Mr. Alexander said.

The new facility will be the first YMCA built in the city of Toledo in 50 years, Ms. Dames said. About $1.6 million has been raised for the project. The YMCA hopes to raise an additional $1.9 million through a capital campaign. The remaining cost will be financed and most will be repaid with revenues from membership dues, Ms. Dames said.

Contact Angie Schmitt at:


or 419-724-6104.

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