Funding for aquatic center gaining steadily

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SHERIDAN — Almost two months into its campaign to raise money for a new aquatic center, the Sheridan County YMCA is more than halfway to its funding goal.

Despite what organizers have done so far, YMCA Executive Director Jay McGinnis said some have been skeptical about the ability to raise the amount needed.

In total, the nonprofit needs to raise $16 million for the new aquatic center, renovation of the old pool and locker room areas and for increasing the YMCA endowment. Approximately $8.9 million has been raised as of last week, but McGinnis said that amount may change quickly.

“People look at it and say ‘There’s no way, you’re not going to get there, it’s too expensive,’” McGinnis said. “I still hear that. But when they see this they think, ‘My gosh, you guys can do it.’”

Donors have verbally promised another $900,000, but McGinnis said until it’s official he isn’t counting it toward the total. Other donors have shown interest that could possibly amount to $2,550,000, but that is based on conversations McGinnis has had, not pledges.

Of the $16 million project total, $11 million is for the new aquatic center, $3.5 million is for renovations to the current pool areas and $1.5 million is for the endowment fund.

“This whole effort, since 1964, would be the largest financial effort that the Y’s made,” McGinnis said.

The $1.5 million endowment is aimed to pay for costs for the increased building size — the aquatic center will increase the physical building size by approximately 20 percent.

That endowment will be spread around the facility to pay for operations and programming expansion.

However, the aquatic center will only take a small portion of that money to pay for its operating budget. McGinnis said the old pools’ operating costs were $416,113, whereas the new area will cost $577,113 a year.

User fees and the endowment funds will pay for the rest of the operating costs.

“We don’t have to adjust rates any more than we would normally,” McGinnis said.

McGinnis said the fundraising campaign will wrap up with a community dinner in June.

McGinnis said a lot of the specific building details aren’t available yet, such as how the building will look and how things will connect to the current building, because an architect hasn’t gone through all the material yet.

But that will soon change.

Tim Belton of Malone Belton Abel has been hired as the architect for the project, which should bring more details in the near future.

By |Nov. 2, 2015|

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