The Southern Boone Area YMCA has purchased 15 acres of land in Ashland, where the organization intends to build a new, permanent facility.
Currently operating in a leased space at 101 W. Broadway St. in Ashland, the still-young YMCA's rapid success in the community calls for a larger facility that can accommodate more people and more programs, Director Kip Batye said.
"We've outgrown the space," Batye said. "Our goal at the end of 2015 was to have 500 units, and we ended the year at about 700 units — approximately 1,300-1,350 people."
The YMCA measures its memberships as "units," meaning each unit may be an individual or a family membership. Now, near the end of 2016, the YMCA has reached 800 memberships.
The Southern Boone Area YMCA opened in April 2015 and is a branch of the Jefferson City YMCA group.
The organization will commission a feasibility study at the beginning of 2017, after which a capital campaign likely would begin to fund the new building on the corner of Main Street and Liberty Lane.
The new location's proximity to Southern Boone Primary School lends itself to community partnerships for programs past the ones already in place, Batye said. The YMCA offers youth karate, wrestling, baseball, softball, flag football and tumbling programs — although not all programs are hosted on site. The current "storefront" YMCA offers only a fitness center and small group exercise room, so a gymnasium with a track above it likely would be first priority in building the new facility.
"We would definitely look to expand and create more programs for the youth in the community, as well as the adults in the community," Batye said. "Currently we don't have many adult programs. By having a gym, we could have possibly a basketball league, kickball or dodgeball league — the sky's the limit on what we could do with a gymnasium."
A timeline of construction phases will not be identified until after the feasibility study, Batye said.
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