MARION — With the new Marion YMCA only a couple of months away from opening, local families planted trees outside of the new facility Friday.
“We had a pretty disastrous summer,” city of Marion arborist Mike Cimprich said during the event. “One of the priorities going forward will be to plant more trees on public and private properties.”
Construction of the new Y, at 3740 Irish Dr., should be completed in mid-December, according to Brett Krantz, senior project manager with Knutson Construction.
The gym should open by mid-January, YMCA CEO Bob Carlson said.
“We would like to have a grand opening, but we don’t know how we’re going to do that,” Carlson said.
The new 75,000-square-foot building will replace the current 30,000-square-foot facility at 3100 10th Ave., which was built almost six decades ago.
The new Y, a decade in the making, features a six-lane pool, three full-size basketball courts, multiple racquetball courts and a second floor devoted to weights and cardio machines, plus an indoor one-eighth mile track.
Outside, the grounds will have two regulation-size football fields.
“The facility is fantastic,” Carlson said. “It’s almost built with social distancing in mind. When we were designing it, we weren’t planning it that way, but there’s lots of space. It’s easy to be 6 feet apart.”
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Construction of the new building began last year. The $19.5 million project has stayed on schedule and under budget through the pandemic and the derecho, Carlson and Krantz said.
Last year, the city received a $400,000 Community Attraction and Tourism grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority for the project.
“These guys have worked hard to open these doors,” Carlson said during Friday’s event. “It’s going to be a great New Year’s present for all those involved. … We’ve got a great facility here that we’re going to give back to the community.”
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