More than seven years after launching a capital campaign project that would have brought a new state-of-the-art YMCA to Jessamine County, the Jessamine County YMCA Board of Mangers voted to shut down the endeavor on May 30.
Efforts on the proposed $10 million facility started off with a bang as a slew of donations brought in more than $1.3 million in pledges with $675,826.52 actually recieved. The project also received another $2 million pledge from Toyota On Nicholasville in late 2006. But soon thereafter economy troubles created snafu with the fundraising efforts, said Alan VanArsdall, Jessamine County YMCA board chairperson.
“(The economy) played a tremendous (role),” VanArsdall said. “The timing was just bad; it was a great idea. Hopefully we can come back at a later date and have more success.”
“The Y has a meeting scheduled with the Jessamine County Fiscal Court to discuss repayment on the County's service agreement,” she said.
When the project was first announced, the Jessamine County Fiscal Court and city of Nicholasville donated a 10-acre tract of land at Riney B. Park, which is situated between the swimming pool and the property now owned by Saint Joseph-Jessamine RJ Corman Ambulatory Care Center.
Initially, the groundbreaking was set for 2008, then it moved to 2010.
According to a news release from YMCA of Central Kentucky, the board will “revisit the matter in five years to assess the feasibility of launching a new campaign.”
Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer said unless YMCA leaders indicate that they do not plan to pursue a new facility, the land donated in 2004 will remain with the YMCA.
“I would say we will hold true to keeping it with the YMCA,” he said. “That would be my idea on it; to stick with them and hope that the future brings better days and they’re able to get the project funded.”
While the initial fundraising efforts got off to a fast start, VanArsdall said momentum cooled, and the efforts didn’t raise nearly enough money.
“We are very appreciative of the support and pledges we received, but to everyone’s disappointment, the gifts have not reached the level of making the financial goal and project a reality,” VanArsdall said.
The proposed Y would have featured a gymnasium, swimming pool, locker room, a training room with free weights and other equipment, as well as areas for youth and teens. The facility’s design also an over-sized kitchen and community rooms.
The proposed Y called for a 52,000 square-foot facility, 45,000 to 47,000 square feet of which would have been usable space.
The current YMCA building, located on Maple Street, has been serving as the headquarters for the Jessamine County YMCA since the mid-1970s.
VanArsdall said the YMCA is still committed to Jessamine County.
“... the Y will continue to have a strong presence in our community and impact the thousands of our residents every day through programs and services that are open and accessible to everyone in our community,” he said.