A new YMCA is "in the works" for southeast Tucson. Although architects have yet be hired and construction has not yet begun, the Y is actively moving forward with plans for a new location on the campus of the University of Arizona Tech Park.
Below you will find the inside scoop in an interview with Charlie Buchanan, the current Associate Director of Ott Family YMCA and soon-to-be Executive Director of the Regional YMCA at UA Tech Park.
Q. Where exactly will the new YMCA be located?
A. "The new YMCA will be located on campus at the University of Arizona Tech Park. Specifically, our location is adjacent to Rita Road towards the southeast entrance of the Tech Park. This location is ideal to position the YMCA to serve the entire Southeast Region of Pima County, which contains 300,000 residents within a 5 mile radius of the new facility. The need for services in the Southeast Region is significant, and the YMCA is excited to be a part of the development of this community."
Q. How many square feet will it be?
A. "The complex will consist of a 40,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art YMCA and a proposed new 15,000 sq. ft. full-service public library."
Q. How will it compare in size and scope to the other YMCA locations in Tucson?
A. "The Y will be unique to the community we serve, but similar in size to our other Y locations. The full build out of the center will include an expansive wellness center, multi-purpose community rooms, a fun and active child watch area, a modern aquatic center with a splash pad and water slide, and an indoor gymnasium. With added YMCA programming, it will be a tremendous asset to our community."
Q. Has construction already started? What is the expected opening date?
A. "Specific time frames are still being established, although we anticipate opening within the next few years. This is a partnership project with the YMCA, University of Arizona Tech Park, Pima County, and Pima County Library. The YMCA currently is currently raising capital to fund $6.5 million for the project, the Tech Park has donated the land, and our hope is to have a successful Pima County Bond Election in November to award the final $6 million to fully fund all elements.
Pima County is currently considering whether or not to take the proposed bond initiative to a public vote. Of course, the Y supports the bond election in November 2015 as it will provide much needed resources for the community and help spur the economy, initially through construction and then, over the long term, with permanent positions at organizations – like the Ys – providing services. You can show your support for the Pima County Bond Election on the YMCA website.
If the County Bond does not occur, or isn't approved by voters, then we will phase construction starting with the community center, and subsequently building the pool, gymnasium, and library as future funding becomes available.
As we anticipate the opening of a new facility in the near future, we have been launching programming in the area and are continually exploring new ways to do so. We are offering wellness classes and instruction to many of the businesses at the Tech Park, and are also looking to expand youth and family programming within the next year."
Q. How much will monthly memberships be?
A. The current rates are $65 per month for Families, $38 per month for Adults, $22.50 per month for 15-21 year olds, and $15 per month for 8-14 year olds at all locations. We do periodically review our membership rates, and as a leading non-profit organization financial assistance is available to those who qualify. The Y is here to serve all."
***Please note that the image above is purely conceptual as architects and designers have not yet been hired.
Do you plan to join the YMCA and/or use the new Regional YMCA at UA Tech Park?