The YMCA used the same bid of $205 per square foot to budget the new facility, a planned 70,000 square foot building. The YMCA settled on 70,000 square feet after discussing space needs with other community organizations. A 70,000 square foot facility, at the bid price, would cost $14.34 million.
According to Gaudreau, other equivalent YMCAs are being built for between $135 and $175 per square foot. Gaudreau is confident that the new building could be constructed for $165 a square foot, which would bring the facility’s cost to $12.375 million. The YMCA is estimating that it will cost approximately $1 million to furnish the facility.
According to Ransom, the YMCA is a YMCA first, not an events center. While the initial project included two gymnasiums, the YMCA added the ability to host events by including a third gym, a 2,500 square foot lobby, and approximately 1,000 to 1,500 square foot of storage space in their proposal.
“First and foremost, this is a YMCA, not a convention center,” Ransom said. “Also, it is not intended to compete with the Landmark or even the [Fletcher Warren] Civic Center. But there are opportunities [for this building] to serve crowds over 400.”
The YMCA presented a pro forma, or business plan, to the city council, which included some details on the new structure.
“There are details that need to be worked out, but a lot of the details we know,” Gaudreau said. “We know the size of the Y; we know the footprint of the Y, because we based on our pro-forma on it. So we have some very solid conceptual plans that we’ve been working on. We know the sizes of the rooms we need, we know what is going in those rooms and we know the locker room layout.”
The land and YMCA building would be owned by the city of Greenville, and then leased to the YMCA for a nominal fee. The city would also need to complete infrastructure work around the facility, including extending water and wastewater lines to the proposed construction site in the Greenville SportsPark.
YMCA fees will not be increased, according to Gaudreau.
Why build now? According to Ransom, there are three main reasons the YMCA committee wanted to get the bond election on the May 11 ballot: interest rates are currently low, construction costs could potentially rise, and the current YMCA building is falling into disrepair.