A milestone has been reached in the Wenatchee Valley YMCA's project to construct a new facility on the site of the old Chelan PUD headquarters. 

The Y has officially closed on the $1.2 million land purchase of the property it'll occupy. 

YMCA Chief Executive Officer Dorry Foster says they identified the spot several years ago as the only logical option for a new home. 

"We've done a lot of due diligence," said Foster. "We need to stay in the downtown corridor, which means we're very limited. We either stay where we are or find another opportunity. And that really was the only one that had that kind of acreage that we could spread out a little bit and prepare our future for." 

The Y will be built on three and a half acres of the former PUD offices at 5th Street and Wenatchee Avenue. The building will be adjacent to 5th Street and face the back side of empty PUD offices that sit along Wenatchee Avenue. BNSF Railroad tracks run along the back side of where the new building will be located. 

Foster says they're set to be the anchor tenant for other development at the site. 

"That was the hope of the PUD," Foster said. "They knew that the Y could attract other for-profit entities that would be attractive to our clientele and would mirror well on that campus." 

The plan is to start construction on the new building next March, although the Y still needs to raise $4.6 million in public contributions to break ground. 

Right now, the Y has a million-dollar match challenge where an anonymous donor will match up to $500 thousand in community support for the project. 

The Y has raised $13.7 million to date for the building project. 

After the additional $4.6 million in public money is raised, the Y will rely on grant money to complete the $26 million construction budget of the project which totals $31 million with all costs included. 

The new Y facility will be a 46,000 sq. ft. building of which 98 percent will be usable space for Y members. The current YMCA structure at 217 Orondo Avenue is 41,000 sq. ft. but has only 38,000 sq. ft. of accessible space for members. 

Foster said research provided by the national YMCA shows 35 percent of households that are located within a15 minute drive of the Y have someone with a disability.  

She said a key design principle for the new building is accessibility, and they intend to have many disability friendly features in the new structure. 

It could be something as simple as having color blind visible lines on the basketball court. 

Foster also said the new facility would accommodate wheelchair basketball, which is not possible in the current facility. 

In addition, the Y is working with local school districts on a program to have every student swim ready by the fifth grade. Foster says the aquatic facility will make that goal possible. 

Going for the Gold! Olympic Athletes from Washington.

Here is some of the Olympics Athletes from Washington over the years. Thanks to Rankers

Gallery Credit: TMS/Jack Balzer

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