The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

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April 22, 2013

‘First and foremost, this is a YMCA’

Everything you need to know about the proposed YMCA

GREENVILLE — The proposed new YMCA is one of the biggest issues in Greenville in recent memory. The project, which has evolved over time, has inspired strong support and opposition. Below is the most up-to-date information from the YMCA about their project.

We hope that it will provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision on May 11. To comment on the project, contact us at editor@heraldbanner.com.

Leading up to the current proposal

The current YMCA building is more than 50 years old and will quickly no longer be operational. The YMCA officially began a fund-raising campaign in June of 2011 to raise money for a new building. Initially, the YMCA of Greenville-Hunt County was looking at building an $8 to $10 million facility, according to CEO/Executive Director Kelly Gaudreau.

“We estimated that would could raise $3 to $4 million, so we knew we needed to raise an additional $5 million to complete the project,” Gaudreau said. “We received an initial bid for the project of $205 per square foot.”

Various organizations committed $4.6 million to the project, including the Greenville Independent School District, L-3 Communications and private individuals.

However, the YMCA was told that they were not going to receive a $2.6 million grant that they were expecting, and the capital campaign did not raise enough funds.

“We just weren’t having a lot of luck; people were giving, but they weren’t giving to the level that brings us further along, faster,” Gaudreau said. “Because I have this ticking time bomb in my hand, which is the building, and the life of that is very short, we were trying to raise money quickly.”

In November of 2012, the city council named Jerry Ransom chairman of a committee designed to determine if the city needed a YMCA, and, if so, how the project would be funded and how viable it was. The committee made a final recommendation to the city council in February, and the council subsequently voted to place the $15 million bond election on the May 11 ballot.

According to Ransom, even if the initial capital campaign had successfully raised all of the necessary funds, the YMCA would still have needed “a financial partner to write the check once the construction was finished.”

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