To the editor:
One of the top five reasons for coming to Greenville in 1968 was it was one of the few towns of its size in any state that had a YMCA.
I opened the second Edward Jones office in the state here in Greenville. Today five more Edward Jones financial advisors have set up offices in Greenville. How many more persons decided to come to Greenville because it had a Y?
In 1968 the Y facility was eight years old, and many folks contributed to it being built. Our family benefited from others’ generosity and saw it as a place to swim, get swimming lessons for the kids, and learn to play baseball, get a workout playing handball, and meet some new folks just like us.
Today that facility is not large enough for the current membership and cannot economically be remodeled or enlarged. It is time to build a new facility.
Very few projects I have seen proposed in my 45 years in Greenville have received such wide community support from all facets: government, private donors, hospital boards, schools boards, county boards, utility boards and major employers like L-3 and Cytec. Not one negative comment from these sources just good questions — and subsequently answers resulting in full support.
I know a little about cash flow statements and projections, and I believe the Y and Event Center will be self-sustaining in their new facilities. Everyone involved wants the Y and Event Center to be creatively designed with excellent construction and be built economically as possible. It is our dollars at work.
Personally I believe it will not take $15 million to do this job — more like $12 million, but we have to approve enough funding to get the job done once committed to it.
The City can only spend this bond money on the project, and if we can build it for less — that is all the City will bond. I have personally volunteered to see this happen if you will vote Yes with me. With interest rates at historic lows, now is the best time to act.
I have talked with a lot of private donor prospects and I do not see how a new Y could be built any other way than how it is being presented. The Event Center is secondary, but this idea of combining the two I believe is very timely and compelling.
Let’s not forget — this is really not about a building — it is about strengthening the foundations of our community through: Youth Development — nurturing the potential of every child and teen; Healthy Living — improving our community’s health and well-being; Social Responsibility — giving back and providing support to our neighbors. The building just helps carry out the mission!
Thanks for listening. Please vote for both Proposition 2 — the YMCA/Event Center and Proposition 1 for better city streets. I personally invite you to the old Y to see for yourself its present state and talk further with Kelly Gaudreau — CEO or Andy Bench, president, or myself.